Leody Taveras
21-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Texas Rangers AA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Just looking at the slash line, you might think that there were no real positives to take away from Taveras' 2018 season. However, Taveras showed a strong handle on the strike zone for a 19-year-old, posting a 16.6 K% and 8.8 BB% against High-A competition. He had a 21.7% line-drive rate, which was right around league average and a significant improvement on his mark at Low-A. The center fielder's batted-ball distribution was also more favorable, as Taveras trimmed his pull rate slightly, adding more balls to center field. Taveras has 60-grade speed but needs to improve his reads and instincts as a base stealer -- he was caught 11 times in 30 attempts. The speed should keep him in center field for another decade or so, easing pressure on his bat. Taveras may head back to High-A to begin 2019, but should end up spending most of the year at the Double-A level as one of the youngest hitters in the Texas League. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed with the Rangers for $2.1 million in July 2015.
Promoted to Double-A
OFTexas Rangers  AA
June 20, 2019
Taveras was promoted to Double-A Frisco on Thursday.
This was an inevitability as long as Taveras was solid in a repeat tour of High-A. After posting a .246/.312/.332 slash line with 19 steals in 132 games last season at that level, he hit .294/.368/.376 with 21 steals in 66 games this year. He still isn't showing much power, but if he can hit for a high average, he should develop into an everyday center fielder who steals 20-plus bases annually.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Taveras' season may have provided one of the best offseason buying opportunities on the dynasty landscape. He was a slightly below average hitter (96 wRC+) in the Sally League and showed very little power (.111 ISO). There's nothing about his season that will lead his owner to declare him untouchable. However, an 18-year-old who is a lock to stay in center field, should hold plus speed into his late 20s and posted a 92:47 K:BB in 577 plate appearances against full-season pitching is a player worth cherishing in dynasty leagues. An extremely projectable 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Taveras shows athletic, fluid motions and should grow into double-digit homer power. A realistic floor for Taveras is Ender Inciarte, while a realistic ceiling is the good version of Starling Marte. His value in the marketplace is reminiscent of Amed Rosario after the 2015 season. He won't come dirt cheap, but Taveras could finish 2018 as a top-10 prospect. This might be the last chance to get in at an affordable price.
The Rangers inked Taveras to a $2.1 million bonus as one of the top international free agents in 2015. At the time, he was joining one of the top farm systems in the game. Several mammoth trades and a couple high-profile graduations later, and Taveras sits atop that system entering his age-18 season. A surefire top-100 prospect in his own right, Taveras is deserving of the honor. The cousin of retired outfielder Willy Taveras, Leody is bursting with tools. His hit tool and speed both earn plus grades, and he has the body (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and bat speed to eventually grow into average or better power. All told, this is a potential up-the-middle star who could get MVP votes someday. He has not yet played in a full-season league and posted a 59 wRC+ in a 29-game run with short-season Spokane, but the fact that he was even playing in the Northwest League as a 17-year-old speaks volumes about how advanced Taveras is. He could finish 2017 as a top-10 prospect in the game.
More Fantasy News
Gets on base four times
OFTexas Rangers  AA
April 5, 2019
Taveras started hot Thursday, going 4-for-4 with a double, a triple, four RBI, a run scored and a stolen base (one two attempts) against High-A Carolina.
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Repeat tour of Carolina League
OFTexas Rangers  AA
April 4, 2019
Taveras will return to High-A Down East to start the season, Jim Callis of MLB.com reports.
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Trying season at High-A
OFTexas Rangers  AA
July 15, 2018
Taveras has six hits in his last 46 at-bats and is slashing .239/.312/.319 for High-A Down East, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports.
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Holds up well at High-A
OFTexas Rangers  AA
May 6, 2018
Taveras went 2-for-5 with a walk, a triple and a run scored for High-A Down East on Sunday.
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Set to open at High-A
OFTexas Rangers  AA
March 27, 2018
Taveras will open the season at High-A Down East, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
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