Strong anticipation has surrounded elite prospect Leody Taveras since he signed with the Texas Rangers in 2015. When will he debut in Arlington?
Leody Taveras was the Texas Rangers’ big international signing during the 2015 free agent period. Accordingly, he’s developed into one of the most anticipated prospects in the Texas system. Taveras, 20, is set to repeat High-A ball to start 2019. How long before he hits the bigs?
He never really came into his own with the Down East Wood Ducks last year, causing some to lose a little hope in him. But there is no doubt the worldly potential is still there, and a swift comeback season is expected. MLB.com has Taveras ranked as the Rangers’ #6 prospect heading into the season, which is a downgrade from being in the top two on almost every list last season.
Last season, he hit .246 with a .312 OBP and a .644 OPS, with 5 home runs and a 58% success rate on stolen base attempts. If he can get his average up to around .280, he should be in good position to reclaim his spot as a top two prospect in the Rangers’ farm system.
Taveras isn’t really known for his power, as proven by his 14 home runs across three minor league seasons. What he is known for, however, is his defense. He is one of the organization’s top defensive prospects. Even if his offensive game doesn’t work out how as we all hope, his defensive abilities should at the very least award stability in the major leagues.
Let’s take a look and make some projections for when he will finally join the Texas Rangers…
This is probably the most important season so far for young Leody Taveras. If he struggles to take the next step in his repeat of A+ ball, his current profound status could suffer. Though, if he thrives, he should find himself at Double-A Frisco by the end of the year. We are going to take it that he has a good showing Down East. He’ll rebound and hit close to .300 with 10 home runs to earn a promotion to the next level.
In Frisco, Taveras will take a bit of a step back due to the strengthened competition. He’ll put up stats similar to his 2018 season at High-A ball, but continue to play terrific defense, and use his speed on the bases to gain favor and momentum in the system.
Taveras starts the season in AA again. He shows improvement, hits at a solid rate, and is on the bubble for a promotion to AAA Nashville. But the Rangers will ultimately decide to keep him in AA, and call him up to the Majors in September so that he can serve as a defensive replacement late in games.
Despite playing some in Arlington in 2020, the Texas Rangers will decide they want him to work on his offense some more at the AAA level. Thus, they’ll return him to Nashville to start the 2021 season, despite a good spring training. He’ll puts up good numbers, but none that are good enough to force the team to call him up, as he starts to show off an increase in power and hits around .285 with 14 home runs at the All-Star break.
The Rangers will trade Delino Deshields Jr. to another team for a prospect package, opening the door for Taveras to take over as the team’s everyday CF. Taveras’ offense will take time to adjust to the majors, but come September, he’ll be a well-oiled machine, with his numbers starting to look up, and complementing his stellar defense. The Rangers will have found their CF of the future. Taveras will join current fellow top prospect Hans Crouse in Arlington, and the rebuild will be just about complete.