Brace yourselves, NL Central: the St. Louis Cardinals are getting ready to call up their best prospect since Yadier Molina.
Yes — Oscar Taveras is just a few months away from making his MLB debut and deserves every inch of the Molina comparison. Fortunately, the injury-prone outfielder is fresh off of the Triple-A disabled list and is ready to start back on his journey to the professional ranks.
While I’m not guaranteeing that Taveras will have a Yasiel Puig-type impact, the Cardinals’ faithful are going to be pleasantly surprised once No. 87 makes his way to the big-league roster.
Make no mistake, a full-time role will be in Taveras’s grasp starting in 2014.
St. Louis has enjoyed Carlos Beltran‘s services for the last two seasons, but his contract is up in 2014 and the Cards aren’t bringing No. 3 back. Thus, the right-field job is Taveras’s to lose and it would be logical for St. Louis to give him a taste of the majors this season. Although unproven, Taveras has an opportunity that 21-year-old phenoms across the league would die for, and the Cardinals will win big if this move works out considering how much money they would be saving by letting Beltran hit the road.
This is just another classic example of the Cards using their minor league system perfectly and not overpaying on free agents like many teams often do.