Minors : : General
Monday, February 04, 2013

BP Top Prospects: Cardinals

Jason Parks        
Photo: Springfield Cardinals
This story originally appeared on BaseballProspectus.com.  To view the full, original story, please visit this link.

State of the Farm: Would you believe in a love at first sight? Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time.”

Prospect rankings primer

The Top Ten

  1. OF Oscar Taveras
  2. RHP Shelby Miller
  3. RHP Carlos Martinez
  4. RHP Trevor Rosenthal
  5. RHP Michael Wacha
  6. 2B Kolten Wong
  7. RHP Tyrell Jenkins
  8. 1B Matt Adams
  9. 3B Patrick Wisdom
  10.  3B Carson Kelly

1. Oscar Taveras

Position: OF
DOB: 06/19/1992
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 180 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2008, Dominican Republic
2012 Stats: .321/.380/.572 at Double-A Springfield (124 games)
The Tools: 7+ potential hit; 6+ potential power; 5+ arm; 5 glove

What Happened in 2012:
 Simply put, Taveras emerged as the premier offensive star in the minors, hitting for average and power in Double-A against much older competition.

Strengths: Elite bat speed; impressive hand/eye coordination; violent torque-heavy swing, but excellent bat control in the zone; hit tool projects to easy 7; batting title potential; raw power is 8; game power could play as 6+; uses the entire field; very hard to exploit; shows defensive aptitude; 5+ glove; arm is solid at al spots; most likely a corner, but can handle center field at present.

Weaknesses: Approach is aggressive and he doesn’t keep bat on shoulders; better pitching will challenge his see-ball/attack-ball approach; will expand his zone; one pro scouting director said Taveras’ biggest weakness is that he doesn’t play for the scouting director’s team; baserunning could still improve; routes/angles to ball in OF need refinement; minor nitpicks.

Overall Future Potential: 7; perennial all-star

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; already dominated Double-A level; high floor/cathedral ceiling.

Fantasy Future: Monster player; has the potential to hit over. 300 with 60-plus extra-base hits.

The Year Ahead: In another org, Taveras might be penciled in to the major-league lineup to start 2013, but the Cardinals can afford to put Taveras in Triple-A until a spot opens up on the 25-man. He’s going to continue to mash at a very high level in Memphis, and when injury or inconsistency opens up a spot at the major-league level, Taveras will mash there as well. His offensive ceiling could make him one of the best talents in the league, the type of player you can build a franchise around. This is a very special prospect who is likely to develop into a very special player at the major-league level. If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, do so quickly. This is a future star.

Major league ETA: 2013

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