A lot of attention has been paid to the St. Louis Cardinals and their young talent that propelled them to the World Series. The talent pipeline won’t be running dry any time soon as Oscar Tavares looks poised to be the next in line.
The top prospect in the Cardinals’ farm system and arguably the best prospect in the game had an abbreviated 2013 campaign as an ankle injury limited him to a total of 47 games, 46 of which came at Triple-A where he hit .306/.341/.462 with five homers, 32 RBI, 12 doubles and 25 runs scored.
Tavares might start the year at Triple-A or he could be given a chance to win a starting job in the Cardinals outfield. With Carlos Beltran likely to leave via free agency, there could be a spot open for Tavares. Either way, Tavares will be making his MLB debut this season if healthy.
Tavares will turn 22 in June so there is no rush to bring Tavares up but given his talent, the Cardinals won’t be able to hold back Tavares, nor should they. Tavares has hit .320/.377/.518 in five seasons in the minors with 45 home runs, 275 RBI, 235 runs scored and 104 doubles. While he doesn’t post impressive power numbers at the moment he should be able to hit double-digit homers once he reaches his full potential. One of Tavares’ strengths is his advanced vision at the plate. He doesn’t strike out much as evidenced by his 212 strikeouts in 374 career games. He also has a knack for making consistent contact and has the speed to become a truly dynamic player in the Majors.
The Cardinals might not have won the World Series this year but given the young talent on the team and the talent still coming up through the farm system, there is a very good chance they will be making it back to the Fall Classic again in the near future and Tavares could be a big part of that in the future.