Evaluating the last 10 hyped prospect debuts for the St. Louis Cardinals

Over the last ten years, Cardinal fans have been treated to some strong prospects. Which of the prospects had great debuts and which struggled?

NLCS - San Francisco Giants v St Louis Cardinals - Game Two
NLCS - San Francisco Giants v St Louis Cardinals - Game Two / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Oscar Taveras

The late Oscar Taveras was the most highly-touted prospect in the Cardinals system since Albert Pujols in the early 2000s. The five-tool outfielder had the personality and stature to go with his offensive and defensive profile. He made his debut on May 31st, 2014 in a game against the San Francisco Giants.

In that game, Taveras started in right field. In his second at bat, Taveras launched a rocket to deep right field. His trot around the field was filled with electric cheers from the sellout crowd. It seemed only fitting that Taveras would get his first hit as a home run. As with most rookies, Taveras did struggle the rest of the season. He ended the year having played 80 games with a slash line of .239/.278/.312 for an OPS+ of 66. Despite his mediocre inaugural season, expectations were high for the stud right fielder.

Sadly, Taveras passed away in a tragic car accident in October of 2014. While we can all imagine what could have been with Taveras, his first home run in his first game is a memory to cherish still.