32-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Willy Taveras in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Willy Taveras Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Royals in December of 2012.
Taveras was released by the Royals on Thursday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
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Willy Taveras: MLB Games Played By Position
Willy Taveras Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Willy Taveras: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Willy Taveras.
Taveras is living proof that the Reds (namely Dusty Baker) learned nothing from the 2008 Corey Patterson experience. Despite a sub-.600 OPS and a .275 OBP, Taveras somehow got 404 at-bats, a good percentage of them from the leadoff spot. He was traded to the A's in the offseason and then released. He signed with the Nationals and will try to win a role with Washington as a reserve outfielder.
When teams say they want to build around speed, don't believe them. Taveras was 68-for-75 stealing bases and the Rockies refused to offer him a contract, leaving him to become a free agent. You hit, you play. You don't hit, you get cut loose. Taveras is a one-trick pony with a fantastic trick; while he should be able to earn the lion's share of the at-bats in center field with the Reds after signing a two-year contract with Cincinnati in December.
Taveras suffered through myriad leg injuries in 2007. He only appeared in 97 games but was force at the top of the lineup. He hit .320 with 33 stolen bases in 42 attempts. The Rockies gave him the green light all year, and he made the most of the opportunities. He intends to improve his conditioning this offseason in order to stay healthy, while manager Clint Hurdle plans to rest Taveras more, but if he plays 130 games he could easily steal 40 bases.
Taveras gave the Astros another year where it seemed like he should be doing just a little bit more with his talent. He hit .278 and stole 33 bases in 42 chances, but his OBP was just .333 as he took only 33 walks, two less than he did in 2005. He did cut his strikeouts down from 104 to 88, but he'll need to get on base more often if he wants to be a leadoff man in the majors. He will start in center field for the Rockies and the move to Coors Field should help his numbers.
The Astros' need for a true center fielder led them to yank Taveras out of Double-A and make him the starter. He was excellent with the glove, so good that he was a positive contributor despite serious strike-zone issues and a complete lack of power. The steals alone make him a good fantasy option, but keep in mind that he could lose his job if he doesn't keep racking up infield singles.
Taveras hit .335 with two home runs, 27 RBIs and 55 stolen bases in 103 games in Double-A Round Rock in 2004. Taveras was called up to the majors late in the season but saw very little time on the field. With Lance Berkman out for at least the first month of the season and Craig Biggio possibly moving to second base, Taveras could find himself a prominent role on the Astros with a productive spring training.
Taveras’ greatest asset is his range and ability to play centerfield with an above average arm. The Rule 5 pick from the Indians organization, who had a surplus of centerfield prospects, is exceptionally quick and capable of setting the table at the top of the order. Organizational scouts insist he’s getting strong enough to hit in the majors, albeit with typical leadoff-type power, and he could get a chance to supplant Craig Biggio in the near future. He should be in Double-A in 2004 with a shot at Triple-A by seasons end