Leody Taveras could be the Rangers center fielder of the future. He’s still a few seasons away, but get to know Texas’ top prospect with our Rangers Prospect Radar.
Throughout this series we’re taking a look at the Rangers top prospects according to MLB.com Prospect Watch. We’re working our way from the top to the bottom of the list with some slight changes. The Rangers are not the farm system power house they used to be. Leody Taveras though, is poised to be one of the future stars in Arlington and regarded as the top prospect in the Texas system.
Leody Taveras was signed by the Rangers in the summer of 2015 as an international amateur out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16. Taveras, predominantly a centerfielder, brings the unique asset of being a switch hitter.
Taveras is listed as the top prospect in the Rangers system according to MLB.com Prospect Watch. Additionally, the outfielder is also ranked as the number 34 prospect in baseball according to Prospect Watch’s top 100 list. Listed at 6’1″ and 170 lbs., Taveras is a balanced player that offers a bright future for this Texas organization.
The consensus for scouting reports on Leody Taveras all point to him being a balance player that has sky high potential and the flexibility to fill a number of roles in the future. With considerable speed and an effective bat, many consider Taveras to be a major league quality hitter. Prospect Watch has his bat at a 60 grade and power as a 50 on the traditional 20/80 scale. His speed registers as a 60 with his fielding at a 60 and his arm at a 55 grade. These measurable point to major league quality talent in the outfield which is something this Rangers organization needs.
Minor League Service
Taveras has quickly risen through the ranks of Texas’ minor league system debuting in Short Season Spokane before reaching Single-A Hickory last season at the age of 18. He played in 134 games for Hickory in 2017 posting a slash line of .249/.312/.360 as the Crawdads everyday center fielder. Defensively in 2017, Taveras played 1068.2 innings in center and committed just 3 errors good for a .989 fielding percentage.
So far this season, Taveras has played for High-A Down East of the Carolina League. He’s only 6 games in but is already off to a hot start hitting .292/.370/.375 and at 19 years old he’s 3.5 years younger than the weighted average of players currently at the same level according to Baseball Reference.
Leody Taveras is further away from the big leagues than a number of people ranked below him on the Rangers’ prospect list. At just 19, he still is in Single-A. Despite this, he could find himself in Double-A Frisco by the end of the season which is where most Texas fans will get their first good look at Taveras.
The Rangers aren’t likely to rush his development because of his highly rated potential. Being a team that isn’t really competing for any postseason opportunities, Taveras is a project Texas is going to invest a lot of time and energy into. For a regular season Major League debut, we’re looking at probably 2020 as the year he’ll crack the roster.
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