- Willy Taveras
Infobox MLB player
name = Willy Taveras
width = 300
team = Colorado Rockies
number = 3
position = Center fielder
birthdate = birth date and age|1981|12|25
Tenares, Dominican Republic
bats = Right
throws = Right
debutdate = September 6
debutyear = 2004
debutteam = Houston Astros
statyear = 2008
stat1value = .283
stat2value = 7
stat3label = Runs batted in
stat3value = 109
stat4value = 169
*Led NL in singles in by|2005
Willy Taveras (born
December 25, 1981in Tenares, Dominican Republic) is a center fielderfor the Colorado Rockies. He bats and throws right-handed. During his time with the Houston Astros, many fans referred to him affectionately as "Willy T."
Taveras played in 10 games at the end of the by|2004 Astros season, mostly as a
In by|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 Metsin the off-season. After the season, Taveras was voted National LeagueRookie of the Year by the players ( Ryan Howardof the Philadelphia Phillieswon the actual Rookie of the Year Award).
In by|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.
December 12, 2006, Taveras was traded along with Taylor Buchholzand Jason Hirshto the Colorado Rockies(much to the chagrin of Houston fans) for Rockies pitchers Jason Jenningsand Miguel Asencio.
As a member of the Rockies, Willy has enjoyed his finest season, averaging career highs in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging, while striking out fewer times.
In by|2007, through August 1st he was leading the major leagues with 31 bunt hits (more than three times that of any other batter), while 6th in the NL with 26 stolen bases, and batting .313.
In a 22-inning game played between
April 17-18, by|2008, at Petco Park, Taveras set a Rockies' club record with 10 at-bats in the game.
He is currently leading the MLB with 68 stolen bases in this 2008 campaign.
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 only 34, 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 Game 4 of the 2005 NLCS against the
St. Louis Cardinals, he made a catch while running up Tal's Hillin 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 batto benefit the [http://www.komen.org Breast Cancer Foundation] . Taveras had a 30-game hitting streak that ended August 29, 2006during a game in which he was hit twice by Milwaukee Brewerspitcher 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 ran a 3.9/40 while being scouted at the age of 17
Willy Taveras has played in the majors for three full seasons and went to the World Series twice; one for the Astros and the other for the Rockies. Unfortunately his teams has been swept from the series both times with the winning team both ending in Sox. His personal World Series record is 0-8.
*by|2005 Player's Choice Rookie of the Year.
*2005 Sporting News Rookie of the Year
*Named to 2006 Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team.
hitting streak(Astros franchise record).
List of Major League Baseball stolen base champions
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