Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospect Countdown: #20 RHP Jose Taveras

Taveras w/ Lakewood in 2016, image-Jay Floyd
Starting pitcher Jose Taveras is a rising prospect worthy of Phillies fans’ attention. Protected by the Phils from December’s Rule 5 draft, Taveras was added to the team’s 40-man roster this off-season and could be part of the team’s near future.

The Dominican native began his pro career with the Dominican Summer League Phillies in 2014. In 15 appearances (13 starts), Taveras posted an 8-4 record with a 1.05 ERA, a .202 batting average against and 7.4 K/9 mark.

The righty followed that up with a solid 2015 campaign for Class A short-season Williamsport, where he notched a 7-4 record, a 3.88 ERA, a .273 BAA and an 8.5 K/9 mark in 13 starts.

The next year with Class A Lakewood, Taveras posted an 8-8 record with a 3.28 ERA, a .229 BAA and a 10.1 K/9 mark in 25 appearances (20 starts) for the BlueClaws.

Last year was a virtual coming out party for Taveras, who really seemed to make a name for himself. In 25 regular season starts in 2017 combined at three levels (Class A Advanced Clearwater, Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley), the six-foot-four 220-pounder tallied a 9-6 record with a 2.22 ERA, a .215 batting average against and an 8.2 K/9 mark. His efforts in 2017 wrapped up with a dominant stretch in Triple-A, rocking a 1.32 ERA in his seven starts for the IronPigs. He allowed zero earned runs in five of his starts there.

With considerable punch out numbers, Taveras sports a low-90’s fastball, which is just about average. Additionally, he typically can use his secondary pitches as complimentary weapons, relying on a strong changeup and a curveball to mow down the opposition. His delivery can be deceptive, which is something that is helpful to the talented hurler, as batters tend to be late on the heater.

Taveras is aggressive and attacks hitters. He’s got the ability to change an approach in given situations, giving him an advantage as well. If something isn’t working, or if command is an issue on a given day, Taveras is a guy that can adjust and keep his team in a game.

Coaches love his preparation and the work he does on the mental side of the game.  Described as very reliable, Taveras takes the ball every fifth day and could be a useful hurler at the top level for the Phillies this year when vacancies in their rotation come about.


Keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.
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