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 Post subject: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 3 14, 11:36 am 
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4. Oscar Taveras, OF.

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Taveras had 27 extra-base hits among his 76 knocks for Memphis, but some evaluators felt the bloom has come off the rose. He entered the season as the No. 3 prospect in baseball and joined the Cardinals for good in July, but injuries and questions about Taveras' effort and intensity complicated his 2014 season.

"He's a solid-average regular, not an all-star" one scout said. "He'll hit more for average than power, and he'll hit more doubles than homers."

Taveras has good plane to his swing, a lighting-quick left-handed bat and feel for the barrel, but he showed only occasional pull power and not the kind of all-fields pop to hit for more than average power with consistency.

One evaluator said Taveras often takes bad routes to flyballs, that his speed is below-average and that his arm is average at best.



13. Piscotty
15. Cooney

I'll get the reports on those two when they become available.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 3 14, 12:09 pm 
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Location: No. 16 on the Cards Top 15 Prospect List
Young, elite prospects like Taveras have their flaws glossed over while in the minors. But, as soon as they hit the majors and struggle a little (and all young prospects not named Albert Pujols struggle when they hit the majors), then some are quick to downgrade their potential.

Oscar is the same player he was last year and the year before when he was one of the top prospects in baseball. 200 PA's in the majors -- half of which were pretty good for a kid his age and experience level -- hasn't changed that at all. Immature? Inexperienced? Raw? Yes, yes, and yes. But, he still has loads of potential. That's one heckuva quick bat. And he can crush a ball if he centers it.

From his call up on July 1 to Aug. 15 -- 110 PA's, .212/.255/.279/.533
From Aug. 15 to end of season -- 98 PA's, .290/.327/.355/.681

They are small sample sizes and arbitrary beginning/end points, but it shows the improvement and adjustments he made.

I remember when Aramis Ramirez came up. Prospect. Loads of potential. Flashed it some, but struggled for 4-5 years with the Pirates. Well, guess what? He's a near Hall of Famer now. 200 PA's is not enough to judge a prospect for anything. Taveras has years to go before he reaches his potential.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 3 14, 2:00 pm 
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Though, from what I've seen, Oscar's arm is average at best.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 3 14, 8:57 pm 
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He actually is pretty correct with his assessment other than his future upside. Quick bat, more power to pull side, solid average athlete with an average arm for RF. Preternatural contact skills at the plate and should hit for a high average once he stops rolling over on breaking pitches.

70 hit, 50 power, 40 run, 45 arm, 50 glove. It's the power that will determine his overall fate. If that power becomes 60 instead of 50 he's a star. If it's 50, he's a very good starter. If it's 40 he's a platoon player.

I've seen him in batting practice put on a show, so the power is there. He needs to make an adjustment to his swing to shorten it through the zone and it will result in more power to all fields.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 4 14, 5:18 am 
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The thing about Taveras is he appears to be as dumb as a stump. I've seen it in his AB's and on the bases. His baseball IQ is around 0.

Last night for example, he comes up after watching the six previous hitters being rewarded for swinging early in the count against Kershaw. Taveras then watches the first pitch sail straight down central for strike 1. I then tell my son that Taveras is now going to swing at junk and be struck out. Which is exactly what happens. We've seen this kind of crap all year from him.

I have serious doubts about his ability to contribute much at this level.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 4 14, 4:12 pm 
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That's a good point joe - phins can you comment to his baseball IQ? Have you seen him play enough to comment on that? I think they addressed it in the report about his work ethic etc.., but I've just seen a player that seems pretty much without a clue at times.

Commenting to fat about downgrading him after some failure at the big league level, I'm not sure that is what is going on here. These reports aren't coming from an internet blog, these are high level scouts that are paid to see through this stuff. When you read the Baez report for example, his forecast hasn't changed from pre-season due to his struggles at the big league level. He's always had that warning flag about the k's - a grip it and rip it guy - but overall his stock stayed level.

Taveras stock has clearly dropped significantly by evaluators. He went from the 3 overall prospect in baseball to the number 4 in the PCL. It's not the end of the world, and I think phins framed it well - if his power develops a little bit he could be a star, if it stays where it is he'll be a regular, and if it falls he probably will be a disappointment.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 10 14, 9:08 pm 
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He is not a high baseball IQ type. He's a natural hitter, to the point where I have been in awe with some things I've seen him do contact wise. I've always loved players with a patient approach at the plate and that is not Taveras' game. It's possible I've underestimated how much MLB pitchers will exploit that, but I truly believe the natural ability is off the charts.

It's a different world in minor league baseball and the big things you're seeing in the majors you wouldn't see be as much of a problem in the minors because they're developing players rather than simply trying to win games. He also had so much success, you didn't notice things as much. He's always been a poor baserunner and now you worry that he might not be a great worker. Add that stuff up and you have a guy that could underachieve. I do believe he should attach himself at the hip to Matt Carpenter, another guy who once had work ethic questions and turned himself into a grinder. He'll never have Carp's approach at the plate, but he could learn a lot from that type of guy.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 23 14, 10:38 pm 
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The bothersome thing to me is that I can see Grichuk's name being penciled in to play right field ad nauseum and we watch him play as we watch Oscar sit. Why does it have to be one or the other? Can the Cardinals not develop two outfielders at one time?

Yes, I know there is only one right field, but it is a crime to take the attitude the Cardinals have taken in that there will be only one winner in this fight between the prospects. Mike and Mo have backed themselves into a corner such that it is now Grichuk or Oscar, and the winner will be awarded right field. They don't have enough grey matter between them to implement a system immediately whereby BOTH are evaluated and hopefully both will be successful. If there's not room for two successful outfielders, fine, we can trade one. But to go into this with the attitude that there will be one winner and one winner only is so defeating.


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 Post subject: Re: PCL Top 20
PostPosted: October 24 14, 8:22 am 
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I don't think it will be hard to juggle Grichuk and OT, mainly thanks to Grichuk being flexible. We can play anywhere in the OF, and he should be able to soak up some AB's spelling Holliday, spelling/pushing Jay, and of course in RF. Holliday is going to need more time off, he's 35 next year and I don't see 150+ games in his future.


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