Leonardo Taveras

Position: RHRP
Level: Extended Spring Training
Affiliate: XST Cardinals
League: Extended Spring Training
Born: 09/07/1998 (Age: 22)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 190
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: Signed as International Free-Agent September 12th, 2016

Prospect Spotlight

Taveras epitomizes a type of crude power arm one sees on the backfields with more regularity than you’d think. He’s young enough to be interesting, with size and velocity that make him a prospect to some degree—though the control, secondary, and overall feel are all so crude that it’s likely he never turns a corner.

Standing 6-foot-5 with broad shoulders and still-remaining physical projection, the 20-year-old righty routinely runs his fastball to the 97-98 mph range and easily sits in the mid-90s. It isn’t unreasonable to project a future triple-digits fastball considering how hard he already throws and the fact there’s more strength to gain. His four-seam fastball has occasional late hop through the zone but is otherwise fairly straight, allowing batters to square it up more than his arm-strength suggests. Taveras’ lone off-speed pitch is an inconsistent low-80s slider that shows occasional action, though it’s often just a hard spinner without much break. His pitchability and control/command are also in the early stages, as he basically just rears back and tries to throw blazing heat past hitters regardless of count or situation.

Every now and again this type of arm makes a subtle adjustment and something clicks; considering Taveras’ age, projection, and solid athleticism for a tall frame, there’s at least some chance that happens here. On the flipside, there are plenty of scenarios in which he never figures it out and remains a novelty arm-strength guy.