The Sunday Read: Texas Rangers trying to make heads or tails of Leody Taveras
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Anyone wondering what elite center-field defense looks like should go watch Leody Taveras patrol the outfield for the Texas Rangers.
He makes the difficult plays look simple and the routine plays look as if they are just wasting his time. He’s graceful as he glides back on flyballs, and teams already know that they shouldn’t run on his right arm.
But he needs to hit, which for the first month of the season and the first week of his second Rangers stint he could not do. And then, just like that, he could.
Watch the way Taveras roams an outfield, how he runs the bases and how he hits when his swing is right, and it’s easy to envision him playing center field for years to come.
The Rangers are full of hope, buoyed by the God-given talent Taveras has and the improvements he has made the past two seasons. He fixed his swing after that wayward April, but they just don’t know if it will stay fixed.
If it does, Taveras could be an All-Star. That’s how talented he is.
If not, his future becomes clouded.
“Offensively, I’m just trying to be consistent,” Taveras said. “I feel a lot of confidence. I’m just happy to be back. I’m just trying to enjoy it and take advantage.”