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Willy Taveras
Taveras during the 2007 World Series
Center fielder
Born: (1981-12-25) December 25, 1981 (age 42)
Tenares, Dominican Republic
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 2004, for the Houston Astros
Last MLB appearance
May 15, 2010, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
Batting average.274
Home runs8
Runs batted in128
Stolen bases195
Career highlights and awards

Willy Taveras (born December 25, 1981) is a Dominican former professional baseball center fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played a total of seven seasons for the Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Nationals.

As a rookie in 2005, Taveras was instrumental in the Astros' first-ever league pennant win and World Series appearances. Behind his hitting, speed, and defense, Taveras won the Players Choice Award for National League (NL) Outstanding Rookie, the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year, and a selection to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    4 154
    2 603
    2 214
    3 312
    29 095
  • Willy Taveras extends hit streak to 30 games in 2006
  • 2009/05/27 Taveras creates a run
  • 2009/05/11 Taveras' five-hit day
  • 2007 NLCS Gm2: Taveras robs Clark with brilliant grab
  • This Forgotten Player Broke a Stolen Base Record


Professional career

Houston Astros

Taveras with the Astros in 2006.

Taveras made his major league debut as a member of the Houston Astros late in the 2004 season, appearing in 10 games, primarily as a pinch runner.

In 2005, Taveras became the Astros' starting center fielder as a rookie, replacing Carlos Beltrán, who had signed as a free agent with the New York Mets in the prior offseason. Taveras batted .291 while leading the majors in infield hits (71), bunt hits (31), and singles (152), and was tops among rookies in runs (82), hits (172), and stolen bases (34; 6th in the National League, NL).

In Game 4 of the 2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the St. Louis Cardinals, Taveras entered in the seventh inning as a pinch runner and scored the winning run on a short sacrifice fly to center field. In the eighth, Taveras' catch while running up Tal's Hill deep in center field at Minute Maid Park ended the inning and preserved a 2–1 lead.

Following the season, Taveras was named in the Players Choice Awards as the NL Outstanding Rookie. He also won the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year Award and selection to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team. For the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) awards, Taveras finished second to Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.[1]

In 2006, Taveras' batting average regressed to .278, though he again led the majors in bunt hits (21) and had 33 stolen bases (10th in the NL), but just 30 RBI. Taveras had a 30-game hitting streak that ended August 29, 2006, during a game in which he was hit twice by Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Tomo Ohka. Taveras' streak is a franchise record, breaking the record of 25 previously held by Jeff Kent. The streak made him part of a rare club of less than a hundred to have hit in thirty straight games.[2] Within that streak, Taveras had a streak of singles in 28 consecutive games, tying a National League record set by Willie Davis in 1969. As of 2020, Taveras and Davis still hold the league record.[3]

Colorado Rockies

On December 12, 2006, Taveras was traded along with Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh by the Astros to the Colorado Rockies for pitchers Jason Jennings and Miguel Asencio.

During the 2007 regular season, Taveras hit .320, including an MLB-leading 27 bunt singles, 2 home runs, 24 RBIs, 33 stolen bases, and caught stealing 9 times. He was part of the World Series roster after making a big play in the NLCS vs the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the World Series, the Rockies were swept by the Boston Red Sox.

In a 22-inning game played at Petco Park between April 17–18, 2008, Taveras established a Rockies' club record with 10 at-bats in the game.

Taveras led MLB with 68 stolen bases during the 2008 season, and led the NL with 24 bunt hits.[4] At the same time, his .296 slugging percentage was the lowest in the majors.[5] Defensively, however, his .976 fielding percentage was the lowest of all qualifying major league center fielders.[6]

On December 12, 2008, the Rockies non-tendered Taveras, making him a free agent.[7]

Cincinnati Reds

On December 27, 2008, Taveras signed a two-year deal worth $6.25 million with the Cincinnati Reds.[8] In his debut with the Reds, he hit a pinch-hit triple in the 8th inning after being down with the flu for over a week.

In 2009, Taveras had the lowest slugging percentage, .285, and the lowest on-base percentage, .275, of all National League players with at least 350 plate appearances. On February 1, 2010, Taveras was traded along with Adam Rosales to the Oakland Athletics for Aaron Miles and a player to be named later. He was later designated for assignment by Oakland. Taveras declined a Triple-A assignment and was granted free agency.

Washington Nationals

On February 15, 2010, Taveras signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals with an invite to spring training. He played 27 games, and on May 21, 2010 he was granted his unconditional release.

Philadelphia Phillies

On June 3, 2010, he signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.[9] He was assigned to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

On June 29, 2010, he was released after playing 23 games for the IronPigs, batting .208 in 96 AB's, with nine stolen bases.

On August 15, 2010, Taveras signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers.

Return to the Rockies

Taveras on April 16, 2008, stealing a base for the Colorado Rockies

On January 25, 2011, Taveras signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies. He spent the 2011 season with the Rockies Triple-A affiliate Colorado Springs Sky Sox, batting .308 in 97 games with a .336 on-base percentage.[10] Due to problems with the sports agency that formerly represented him Taveras was out of American baseball for the entire 2012 season.[10]

Kansas City Royals

On December 11, 2012, Taveras was signed to a minor league contract by the Kansas City Royals with an invitation to spring training.[10] At the time of the signing Taveras was playing baseball in the Mexican Pacific League with the Yaquis de Obregón.[10]

Sugar Land Skeeters

Taveras signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for the 2015 season. This was Taveras' first year playing in an independent baseball league.

Pericos de Puebla

On April 11, 2016, Taveras signed with the Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican Baseball League.

Acereros de Monclova

On February 21, 2017, Taveras, along with Chad Gaudin, Daric Barton, Nyjer Morgan, Manny Rodriguez, and Rodolfo Amador, were traded to the Acereros de Monclova in exchange for RHP Joaquín Lara. Taveras became a free agent following the 2017 season.

Sugar Land Skeeters (second stint)

On May 13, 2019, after spending all of 2018 out of professional baseball, Taveras re-signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters. He was released on July 22.

Scouting report

Taveras has good skills for slap-hitting; however, he strikes out frequently (103 times in 2005) and rarely walks. His career-high in walks is 36, resulting in a low on-base percentage. In addition, Taveras is an exceptionally poor power hitter, producing the lowest slugging percentage among all regular major league outfielders for both the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He has great speed and has been clocked at 3.57 seconds from home to first as a right-handed hitter. Taveras has also led the league in infield singles, and his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was .374 in 2007.

Career highlights

Personal life

A cousin of Taveras, Leody, is also an outfielder in Major League Baseball who signed with the Texas Rangers as an international free agent in 2015 and made his MLB debut in 2020.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "2005 awards voting". Retrieved April 8, 2023.
  2. ^ "Longest hitting streaks in MLB history".
  3. ^ "Batting Streak Finder". Stathead. Sports Reference. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2008 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball".
  5. ^ "2008 Major League Baseball Advanced Batting".
  6. ^ "2021 Regular Season MLB Baseball 1B Fielding Statistics - Major League Baseball - ESPN".
  7. ^ "Rockies non-tender Willy Taveras".
  8. ^ "Reds ink Taveras to two-year deal".
  9. ^ "Phillies sign OF Taveras to minor league deal". Seattle PI. June 3, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c d Drellich, Evan (11 December 2012). "Royals sign speedy outfielder Taveras". via Royals team website. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Leody Taveras stats". Retrieved April 17, 2023.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie
Succeeded by
Preceded by Houston Astros longest hitting streak
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 19 April 2024, at 18:41
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