A continuing look at the Rangers 40-man roster.
Taveras made the opening day roster in 2020 as a backup centerfielder, made it into the opening day game as a ninth-inning defensive replacement, then was sent out.
In the meantime, Danny Santana, Nick Solak, and Scott Heineman got starts in center. Santana and Heineman did so well they are both no longer on the Rangers roster. And Solak no longer has a regular position.
So, the Rangers decided they had nothing to lose by bringing back Taveras and installing him as their regular center fielder. And the Rangers revolving door in center seems to be over.
The twenty-two-year-old made the leap from Double-A to the major leagues, and seems to have made himself the Rangers center fielder of the future.
While he didn’t hit for high average, that should come as the switch-hitting Dominican gets more at-bats under his belt. But he had eight steals in 33 games, and showed decent power. His OPS+ was 91, slightly below major league average but way above Rangers average.
In fact, according to Baseball-Reference, Taveras’s rookie status is still intact going into 2021, so he could legitimately be a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
There were very few success stories for the Rangers in 2020. Taveras was one of them. He will be one of the reasons to pay attention to the Rangers in what will be an otherwise dismal 2021 season.