The wait is over, Cardinals fans. St. Louis has decided to promote top outfield prospect Oscar Taveras to the major leagues, as first reported by Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes.
Taveras, who is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in baseball, gets the call to the bigs after hitting .325 with 7 HR and 40 RBI in 49 games with Triple-A Memphis. The 21-year old has played center throughout his minor league career, but could move to a corner outfield spot in the major leagues.
As Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, the promotion of Taveras may not be a permanent one that guarantees him immediate playing time. First baseman Matt Adams appears headed to the disabled list, meaning that Allen Craig will move to first base and Taveras will take over in right field. The Cards have a surplus of outfield options with Taveras, Craig, Peter Bourjos, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay in the majors and prospects Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk with Memphis. As Goold's colleague Bernie Miklasz wrote earlier today, the Cardinals could soon deal from that surplus in order to acquire pieces that could help the team in other areas of the diamond.
Taveras was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2008 for $145K and has spent parts of the last six seasons in the Cardinals' minor league system. In 423 games at five different levels, he is a lifetime .321 hitter with 52 HR and 315 RBI, headlined by a .316 average in 95 Triple-A games over the past two years. He was ranked by Baseball America as the third best prospect in baseball before this season, trailing only Byron Buxton and Xander Bogaerts.