Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Willy Taveras Report

Willy Taveras, CF, Houston Astros
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 1999, Dominican Republic
Bats R/Throws R
23 YO, 6'0", 160 lbs

Taveras made the opening day roster and is starting in center field while Lance Berkman is out. He's probably in a fight to the death with his friend and fellow outfielder Luke Scott for a starting spot in the big leagues. Taveras might win for his defensive abilities. He'd be a much better center fielder than Jerome Lane, even if he doesn't have the same ability to hit for power.

2003 Kinston: .282/.381/.350, 9 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 52 BB, 68 K, 57 SB, 12 CS, 397 AB
2004 Round Rock: .335/.402/.386, 13 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 38 BB, 76 K, 55 SB, 11 CS, 409 AB
mL Career: .296/.379/.381, 74 2B, 24 3B, 15 HR, 212 BB, 361 K, 257 SB, 1981 AB

He's another one of these guys with serious speed and little or no power. Given he can reclaim some of that 2003 walk rate that he gave up last year, he's a traditionalist's wet dream of a leadoff hitter. He won't hit for the kind of average he showed in Round Rock, but I don't think that minor league career line is out of the question, which given his flycatching ability in center field and his deadly effectiveness on the basepaths, would make him a pretty valuable player. It would make him Juan Pierre or Scott Podsednik with more walks. In other words, it would only make him a decent outfielder, but an extremely valuable roto property.

ETA: A Couple Days Ago
3 1/2 Stars

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