2023 in Review- Leody Taveras
Returning in 2024 for the Texas Rangers in center field is Leody Taveras. Taveras has always had the tools to be a great defensive center fielder. His range as well as his arm strength are right up there with some of the best in the game. Taveras has mostly lived up to high expectations on defense in his first few years starting for the Rangers. He just needed to figure it out at the plate. He made strides in that direction in the 2023 season, batting .266 with 14 homers at the bottom of the order. He also had a respectable OPS at .733.
While Taveras did make offense strides, there is still some production at the plate to be desired. He started very strong in 2023 and fans were excited for his breakout. But in the second half of the season, pitchers figured him out. He never really adjusted and struggled at the plate for the second half of the regular season. Aside from his ALCS homer off Justin Verlander, his offensive production followed the trend from the second half of the season into the postseason.
What can Leody Taveras improve upon in 2024?
Especially with Wyatt Langford's imminent call up, Taveras will need to increase his offensive production to keep significant playing time. His speed and defensive ability will always make him an asset, but if he can prove to be more of a threat at the plate, he can truly become a weapon for the Rangers. Speaking of his speed, I would also like to see the Rangers use Taveras more aggressively when he is on the base paths. That is not so much something he needs to improve on but something Bruce Bochy and his staff need to improve on. Allowing him to steal and wreak havoc on the base paths further plays into the strengths he has already shown and allows him to be even more valuable when he is able to get on base.