July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; World outfielder Oscar Taveras drives in a run with a sacrifice fly during the third inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

His Name is Oscar

Last offseason, the Cardinals lost their franchise player.  A player who had put up record numbers during his first eleven seasons with the team.  It was devastating blow when he departed, leaving many fans asking “will be ever see a player of the same caliber?”  Fortunately Cardinals fans, there is a very good chance we may see a player with the same potential very soon.

Oscar Taveras is a prospect in the Cardinals farm system who has burst onto the national scene in a very big way.  He nearly hit .400 last season at Quad Cities and has seemed to have developed a power stroke this season with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.  So far this season, he has hit 18 home runs and driven in 71 while hitting .326.  He also has an OPS of .957 this season and has been playing a very good centerfield.  He was selected to the Futures Game representing the World team in Kansas City, and opened a lot of eyes while he was launching home runs off the scoreboard in centerfield during batting practice.

It has been a season full of disappointment for the St. Louis Cardinals, and finding different silver linings has been a struggle at times, but Oscar Taveras’s season thus far has given Cardinals fans a reason to feel optimistic about the future.  While Taveras is only in Double-A right now, it is very possible that he may make his Major League debut this season.  If the Springfield Cardinals are out of contention for the playoffs in September, then Taveras could be a September call-up when the rosters expand.

It may not seem like the best idea to skip Triple-A, but there are a few players who have skipped the highest level of the minors before making their big league debut.  Albert Pujols played a total of 3 games in Triple-A during his one season of minor league ball.  If that seems like an expectation that is unrealistic, think about this:  Mike Trout made his Major League debut last season without playing in Triple-A.  While he did struggle with the big club, he got some good experience.  He started this season with the Triple-A team and hit over .400 in only 20 games.  Now he’s an MVP candidate.

Not Convinced yet?

Bryce Harper played 21 games in Triple-A this season and didn’t light the world on fire with his numbers.  He has played pretty well, however, since his call-up and seems to be turning into a very good player even though he is only nineteen years old.

It’s very difficult to compare young players to each other because there is always a risk involved.  I do believe that Taveras would benefit from a Major League call-up.  He has already proven that he has big league power, and he has hit well over .300 in both systems of the minors he has played in so far.  The Cardinals don’t have much to play for with a team that has struggled to find consistency so maybe a shot in the arm, like Taveras, would be the best thing for them.

What do you think?

Tags: Albert Pujols Bryce Harper Mike Trout Oscar Taveras Springfield Cardinals St Louis Cardinals

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