Texas Rangers Prospect Countdown: #3 Leody Taveras
By Andrew Webb
Outfielder Leody Taveras could be one of the best hitters in the Texas Rangers farm system right now. Signed as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. Now at the age of 18 Taveras is quickly moving through the minors.
When the Texas Rangers signed outfielder Leody Taveras for $2.1 million, he was one of the all-around best athletes in the international draft. Taveras is cousins with former MLB outfielder Willy Taveras. Both players are known for their excellent speed and base stealing ability.
In 2016 Leody Taveras stole 18 bases along with hitting .271/.324/.366 with one homer and 33 RBI in 73 games. Taveras cruised through the minor leagues playing at three different levels in 2016.
Taveras is a switch-hitter with a good stroke from both sides. Many scouts believe he has 15 home run power, but still needs to develop physically. Taveras could be a good contact hitter with deadly speed that could be a leadoff hitter in Texas.
Rangers fan won’t likely see Taveras in the Major Leagues for the next few years. He has yet to reach Double-A, but played in the Northwest League at the age of 18. Taveras still has plenty of development left, but is making strong strides.
Taveras has a strong-arm in the outfield and scouts believe he could not only play center field, but all three outfield positions. His defense still needs improvement, but Taveras has the arm strength and speed to cover the outfield with ease.
Taveras is young and the Rangers signed him in July of 2015. He has not experienced enough minor league development time to be considered for the Rangers 2017 squad. 2019 or 2020 is a possible ETA for Taveras in the MLB, but Rangers fans should keep an eye on the speedster in 2017.