Hey guys, the year of the center fielder continues in the 2017 Sally. In addition to Leody Taveras (Rangers) (who’s very exciting) there’s Mickey Moniak (Phillies) , Blake Rutherford (Yankees), Christian Pache (Braves) and Desmond Lindsay (Mets). That’s a hell of a top 5 but also Manuel Melendez (Rockies) and Randy Ventura (Braves) have very loud tools. Then there’s Lorenzo Cedrola (Red Sox), Daniel Johnson (Nats), Blake Perkins (Nats), Joel Booker (White Sox) and Ryan McKenna (Orioles) who are interesting as well. You get the idea.
In about 4 weeks I’ll be releasing my mid season Sally top 25 and I’ll be doing a 2nd piece just comparing the CF’s, by then I should have multiple looks at each of them.
Leody Taveras- Age 18, listed 6’1″ 170 lbs, bats both and throws right. He was a high profile signee of the Dominican Republic by the Rangers in 2015.
Leody looks fairly well put together, I guessed on the field 6’2″ 175 lbs. There is projection left, I could see him carrying another 15-20 lbs of muscle at peak.
From the left side Leody hits from a closed stance and a slight crouch, he keeps his hands high. His hands stay fairly active pre pitch. The swing has some length but well above average bat speed. He shows good barrel control and puts together some pretty professional at bats for a teenager. Despite the low walk totals he’s shown pretty good patience and works himself into good hitters counts. When you combine the bat speed with the barrel control and approach, the hit could play plus or perhaps even higher.
Leody has a similar set up from the right side, the approach is a bit more raw though, particularly in pitch recognition. The bat speed is still present and the ball is still jumping off of his barrel. He just needs reps to work on improving the approach.
The raw power is average right now and could reach above average or plus at peak. The game power right now is limited to pull side and probably won’t exceed 8-12. His HR’s could reach 16-20 at peak or perhaps more, a lot of that has to do with bat path and approach.
The speed is plus and he looks very good in center, quality 1st step and route running. He has a strong arm too.
Conclusion, Leody is an exciting player with plenty of loud tools on display. We could be looking at a player who hits 280+ with HR’s in the mid to upper teens, 25 SB’s and strong CF defense. That’s a 5+ win player. I’ll be looking forward to watching him develop.
As far as a time table he could be making his way to A+ later this Summer and perhaps a cup of coffee in September of 2018. Up for good mid 2019, that’s aggressive though, the Rangers may take it a little slower than that.
Here’s an excellent illustration of Leody’s bat speed, courtesy of Fangraphs:
Up next at Notes is a look at Asheville CF Manuel Melendez