The St. Louis Cardinals have talented prospects with problems, largely because the Cardinal brass have painted their Redbird tails into a corner with regards to the PR they spew about their prospects. Whether it is breathless talking about the bat speed and power of found money prospect Randal Grichuk, the All-Star ceiling of Kolten Wong or the batting title expectations of Oscar Taveras, the PR machine has Cardinal Nation constantly drooling. It is the last bit of hype that is the largest but not the only problem Taveras faces.
The situation is not funny. Taveras is talked about as much in chats and on radio as many of the Cardinal regulars, yet he has not taken a swing at the major league level. In fact what is going on is just one of many problems the youngster faces. When he finally arrives to St. Louis, he will be expected to be something between a left-handed Albert Pujols and a Dominican Stan Musial. In other words, if the kid put up a pro-rated .280, 20 and 80 RBIs, with an .800 OPS, he is 100 percent up a creek.
Now those numbers would be great for any rookie, at any time, but when you are Taveras and you come into the Gateway City with the weight of the Arch on your shoulders, it is failure and this is wrong. Another problem is Taveras is being outplayed by Grichuk, and by a large margin, yet Grichuk is viewed to be a lesser prospect. A slow start and the comparisons start and calls for Grichuk begin.
Problem three is his ankle. It is not known if it is going to be a long-term issue or if Taveras can play worry free. But if it continues to hold him back, fans in St. Louis — a down to earth blue collar metro — will not tolerate it and call for him to be traded or sent back down. No Taveras is not your average talent, but then again, average talent does not have to worry about unreasonable expectations.