March 11, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Oscar Taveras (87) in the dugout against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The wait is over: Oscar Taveras called up and will start today

St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Oscar Taveras (87) connects for a base hit in the fourth inning Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have called up the number two prospect in baseball in outfielder Oscar Taveras.  Taveras will be in the starting lineup today against the San Francisco Giants.

Taveras was crushing AAA pitching, hitting .325 with seven home runs and 40 RBI.  He had nothing left to prove in the minor leagues.

The struggles of Peter Bourjos, Randal Grichuk, and Shane Robinson likely expedited the call up.  Surprisingly enough, the 21 year old Taveras will make his major league debut before June.

Taveras will have his work cut out for him in his debut.  He will have to face Giants ace Matt Cain.  Cain is 1-3 with a 3.66 ERA so far this season.

There is still no official word on how much Taveras will play, but I’m guessing that the Cardinals did not bring him up to ride the pine.  I am betting that Taveras will get at least five starts a week, most likely in center field.

This will mean a decrease in playing time for Bourjos, Robinson, and John Jay.

Those of you that drafted Taveras and hung on to him anxiously awaiting his debut, the hour is nigh.  Taveras is only owned in 12 percent of ESPN leagues right now.  He is worth picking up in any league if you have the bench slot available.  Taveras has consistently been in the top three of prospects lists since 2011.  That alone is worth taking a chance on.

While I don’t really expect Taveras to hit above .300 in the majors, .280 is not out of the question.  I would say 15-20 home runs and 80 RBI are reasonable expectations for Taveras.  Those numbers are useful in all leagues.

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Tags: Matt Cain Oscar Taveras St. Louis Cardinals

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