Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras will have season-ending surgery on his right ankle next week, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The team expects him to be fully healthy in time for spring training.
Taveras, 21, has been battling a high ankle sprain since way back in May. He tried to play through it for a while but ultimately it became too much to bear. Taveras has played in just one game since June 23 because he was trying to rehab the injury and avoid surgery.
In 47 games around the injury -- all but one with Triple-A Memphis -- Taveras hit .310/.348/.471 with five home runs and five stolen bases. Last season he hit .321/.380/.572 with 23 homers and 10 steals in 124 games for Double-A Springfield after skipping over High Class-A completely.
Baseball America ranked Taveras as the third best prospect in baseball before the season and the second best in their midseason update last month. The publication noted GM John Mozeliak called him "the organization's top hitting prospect since Albert Pujols" in their 2013 Prospect Handbook.
With Carlos Beltran due to become a free agent after the season, Taveras figures to receive an extended opportunity to make the club in spring training.