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.
Taveras, the No. 3 prospect for the Rangers, had a strong debut in his return to High-A Down East. The 20-year-old didn't have a four-hit game all of last year, so this may be indicative of improvement at the plate. Taveras has stolen double-digit bases every year in the minors, so if he is able to get more comfortable at the plate he could be a multi-tool asset.
Taveras will return to High-A Down East to start the season, Jim Callis of MLB.com reports.
He had a full, healthy season at High-A last year and was a below-league-average hitter (85 wRC+), so it's not surprising to see him sent for a second tour of the Carolina League. Taveras looks the part of a future big-league center fielder and won't turn 21 until September, but at some point he will need to start producing against full-season pitching if he is to remain a noteworthy prospect.
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.
The 19-year-old Taveras had held his own at the advanced-for-his-age level over the first six weeks of the season, but he has fallen off since. His bat is a major question, and that's what's prompted one National League scout to lower his grade on Taveras from 60 (plus player) to 50 (average regular). The scout thinks Taveras often looks off-balance and guessing at the plate. At such a young age -- he's the sixth-youngest player in the Carolina League -- time is on his side, but we wouldn't be shocked if the organization has him repeat at Down East.
Taveras went 2-for-5 with a walk, a triple and a run scored for High-A Down East on Sunday.
Taveras, the Rangers' top hitting prospect at age 19, is the third-youngest player in the High-A Carolina League and is holding up well. The switch-hitting center fielder has 27 hits in 28 games and has a career-high 14.3 BB% while avoiding any protracted slumps through the first month of the season. He doesn't project to hit for much power, but should steal 20 bases while sticking in center field for years to come.
| 21 |
| 22 |
| 23 |
| 24 |
| 25 |
| 26 |
| 28 |
| 29 || 30 |
| 1 |
| 2 || 3 |