St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras failed Saturday night to collect multiple hits in a game for the first time in five contests.
Taveras, playing centerfield, was 1-for-4 with an RBI to leave his season batting average at .324 with seven homes and 35 RBI. Over his last five games, Taveras has 13 hits in 23 at-bats.
One of the most impressive things about the lefty slugger's performance this season is that he's crushing southpaw pitchers. He's batting .333 against them with five doubles and two homers in 60 at bats. He's batting .319 with 10 doubles and five homers in 119 at-bats against righty hurlers. If you pro-rate the plate appearances, the figures are nearly identical in terms of production.
The Cardinals have struggled this season hitting with runners on base. But Taveras has had no such trouble with a .376 average with men on in front of him.
The timing seems to have all come together. Taveras has peaked right as it's time to call him up. With his high average and on-base percentage and a potential to rack up a lot of extra base hits, I'd like to see the rookie get a chance to hit second in the big league batting order.
That's a spot that doesn't really have a permanent resident right now. Possibly a negative to have two lefty hitters back-to-back at the top, Taveras' performance against lefties neutralizes that potential negative.