One of the best prospects and athletes in the 2015 international class, Taveras jumped on the fast track after signing for $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic. The cousin of former big league stolen base champ Willy Taveras, he ended his pro debut in short-season ball at age 17 and spent the second half of 2019 in Double-A at age 20. He repeatedly holds his own against significantly older competition but has yet to post huge numbers, with his .719 OPS last year representing a career high.
A switch-hitter with a good swing from both sides of the plate, Taveras has been more effective as a lefty and all 19 of his homers in his first four pro seasons came against right-handers. He has advanced bat-to-ball skills, though his strikeout rate rose to a career-worst 21 percent in 2019 as he began looking to drive the ball in the air more often. While it hasn't translated into power production yet, he does have enough bat speed and projectable strength to hit 15 homers per year.
Taveras has plus speed and still is refining his basestealing ability, swiping 32 bags last year but getting caught 13 times. His quickness is obvious in center field, where he has established a reputation as one of the best defenders in the Minors, and his solid arm is stronger than most at his position. He continues to draw Ender Inciarte comparisons, though the Rangers still believe his offensive ceiling is higher than that.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 65 | Overall: 50
One of the best athletes in the 2015 international class, Taveras signed for $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic. The cousin of former big league stolen-base champ Willy Taveras, he spent the entire 2018 season in Class A Advanced and played in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game as a 19-year-old. Advanced for his age, Taveras has perennially been one of the youngest regulars in his leagues, but he batted just .253/.315/.351 in his first three pro seasons.
A switch-hitter, Taveras has been slightly more effective as a lefty but has a good swing from both sides of the plate. He has advanced bat-to-ball skills but needs to get stronger and more selective so he can make more quality contact. While he won't ever be a slugger, he has the bat speed and projectable frame to develop at least 15-homer power.
Taveras' basestealing is also a work in progress, as he's still learning how to use his plus speed on the bases. He's already one of the best outfield defenders in the Minors, a no-doubt center fielder whose solid arm is better than most at the position. His game presently resembles that of Ender Inciarte, though the Rangers believe he'll develop at the plate and reach a higher offensive ceiling.
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
A cousin of former big league stolen-base champ Willy Taveras, Leodys signed for $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic as one of the top athletes on the 2015-16 international amateur market. The Rangers brought him to the United States at age 17 and have promoted him aggressively, making him the youngest regular in the short-season Northwest League during his 2016 debut, the third-youngest in the low Class A South Atlantic League last season and the second-youngest in the high Class A Carolina League this year. While he hasn't posted huge numbers, he also hasn't been overmatched and his tools have been obvious.
Taveras is a switch-hitter with a good swing from both sides of the plate -- the consensus is that he's better as a left-handed hitter -- and he already displays command of the strike zone and the ability to recognize pitches. Add in his plus speed and he should have little difficulty hitting for average. With his easy bat speed and projectable strength, he also could grow into at least average power once he matures physically.
While Tavares still is learning how to translate his quickness into stolen bases, he already uses his speed well in center field. He gets good reads and jumps, allowing him to chase down balls from gap to gap. He also has solid arm strength that fits well at any of the three outfield spots, though he won't have to move from center.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
A cousin of former big leaguer Willy Taveras, Leody was one of the best athletes available on the 2015-16 international market. After signing for $2.1 million out of the Dominican Republic, he had an impressive pro debut in 2016. He hit .385 in a short stint in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Arizona and short-season Northwest leagues, and established himself as the top position prospect in the Rangers system.
Taveras is a legitimate five-tool center fielder. A switch-hitter with a good stroke from both sides of the plate, he understands the strike zone and already shows a feel for recognizing pitches. He has bat speed and makes consistent hard contact, so he could develop into a high average/high OBP player with average power once he fills out.
Taveras' plus speed makes him a basestealing threat, though he's still learning the nuances of that art. He's already a fine center fielder who makes good reads and easily chases down balls in the gaps. With his solid throwing arm, he's capable of playing anywhere in the outfield.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
The Rangers outspent every other club by paying $8.4 million on bonuses during the 2013-14 international signing period, blowing past their pool allotment and getting barred from paying more than $250,000 for any player in 2014-15. They had no restrictions last year and were aggressive again, starting with a $2.1 million bonus for Taveras, one of the best all-around athletes in his international class.
Like his cousin, former big leaguer Willy Taveras, he stands out most for his speed. Leody is more of a plus runner while Willy was a burner, but the younger Taveras has the potential to do more damage at the plate. He's a switch-hitter with a good stroke from both sides of the plate and the potential to produce 15 or more homers per year once he matures physically.
Signed as a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic, Taveras is both raw in many phases of the game and advanced for his age and background. He'll need to improve his pitch recognition and his center-field defense, and the Rangers are so confident that he'll do so that they brought him to the United States during his pro debut in 2016. He also has a solid arm that will allow him to play all three outfield positions if needed.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
When the Rangers aren't hampered by penalties for overspending, they're as consistently aggressive as any club on the international market. They spent $2.1 million in July to secure the talents of Taveras, one of the best all-around athletes in the 2015 international class.
A cousin of former big leaguer Willy Taveras, he's a switch-hitter with a nice swing from both sides of the plate. Once he adds strength, he could develop the power to hit 15 or more homers on an annual basis. His best tool is his plus speed.
As someone who signed as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Taveras is still raw in many phases of the game, such as pitch recognition and center-field defense. At the same time, he's advanced for his age and background. He should be able to remain in center, but if not his solid arm will play well in right field.