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Willy Taveras

Washington Nationals — No. 29
Center fielder
Born: December 25, 1981 (1981-12-25) (age 28)
Tenares, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 6, 2004 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .276
Home runs     8
Runs batted in     124
Stolen bases     194
Career highlights and awards
Taveras with the Astros in 2006.

Willy Taveras (born December 25, 1981, in Tenares, Dominican Republic) is a center fielder who is currently playing for the Washington Nationals organization. He bats and throws right-handed.


Professional career

Houston Astros

Taveras played in 10 games at the end of the 2004 Astros season, mostly as a pinch runner.

In 2005, he led 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 NL). He hit .291. Taveras was the Astros' starting center fielder during his rookie season (2005), replacing Carlos Beltrán, who signed with the New York Mets in the offseason. After the season, Taveras was voted National League Rookie of the Year by the players (Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies won the actual Rookie of the Year Award).

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.

Colorado Rockies

On December 12, 2006, Taveras was traded along with Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh to the Colorado Rockies (much to the chagrin of Houston fans) for Rockies pitchers Jason Jennings and Miguel Asencio.

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

He led MLB with 68 stolen bases during the 2008 season, [1] and led the NL with 24 bunt hits. [2] At the same time, his .296 slugging percentage was the lowest in the majors. [3] Defensively, however, he had the lowest fielding percentage of all major league center fielders, .976. [4]

On December 12, 2008 the Rockies non-tendered Taveras, making him a free agent.[1]

Cincinnati Reds

On December 27, 2008, Taveras signed a two-year deal worth $6.25 million with the Cincinnati Reds.[2] 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 average, .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. Teveras 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.

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 through 2008 was only 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. Willy has also led the league in infield singles and his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was .374 in 2007. In 2004 Willy Taveras ran a 3.9 the league leading forty yard times.


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

In Game 4 of the 2005 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, he made a catch while running up Tal's Hill in Minute Maid Park's deep center field to end the 8th inning and preserve a 2-1 lead. He scored the winning run as a pinch-runner the inning before on a short sacrifice fly to center field.

On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Taveras was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. 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. His streak is a franchise record, breaking the record of 25 previously held by Jeff Kent. He is the 42nd player in MLB history with a hit streak of 30-or-more games.

He fielded former teammate Craig Biggio's 3000th career hit and threw him out trying to advance to second base. Taveras has played in the World Series twice; once for the Astros in 2005 and once for the Rockies in 2007. Both teams were swept.

Career highlights

See also


External links

Preceded by
Jason Bay
Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Hanley Ramírez
Preceded by
Jason Bay
Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie
Succeeded by
Dan Uggla
Preceded by
Jeff Kent
Houston Astros Longest Hitting Streak
Succeeded by
Preceded by
José Reyes
National League Stolen Base Champion
Succeeded by
Michael Bourn

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