Originally posted on Cardinals Farm  |  Last updated 4/12/14
COMMENTARY | Spring Training 2014 was a big one for Stephen Piscotty, he stuck around big league camp all the way to the end. He had a very promising spring in which some called for him to make the major league roster out of spring. On the flip side, Oscar Taveras saw just six at-bats with the big club due to lingering ankle issues (whether mentally or physically). With their spring performances fresh in the minds of Cards fans, many are ready for Piscotty to jump Taveras. As the great Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.” Stephen Piscotty is not Oscar Taveras, and it is not even close. That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Piscotty, in fact, I believe he will have an above average career that will lead to All-Star games. Taveras does not have an All-Star ceiling, he has an MVP ceiling, and Cards’ fans sometimes fail to see that. While it is hard to compare the two as Piscotty just has 1 1/2 years of professional experience, they both spent some time at Class AA Springfield. Taveras hit .321 with 23 home runs and 94 runs batted in over 124 games, while only striking out 56 times. Oh, and he did this at the age of 20. Piscotty was 22 when he played his 49 games with Springfield in 2013. Piscotty hit .299 with 6 home runs and 24 runs batted in and struck out 19 times. Taveras had an OPS of .953 and Piscotty’s was .810. As you can see, Piscotty had a solid season at Springfield, but Taveras had an MVP type season, in fact, he was the MVP of the Texas League. It is not outrageous to say that Taveras could hit well over .300 and hit over 30 home runs and drive in over 100 RBI’s at the major league level. That is MVP caliber. Let’s destroy a couple more myths while we are at it. First, Oscar Taveras is not injury prone. He had an ankle injury at Memphis in 2013 and the Cardinals were taking it slow with their prized prospect. Wouldn’t you? In 2012, he played in 124 games with Springfield, basically a full season. He has started every game for Memphis except one this year. He is not susceptible to injury. Another myth is Piscotty is more advanced right now and would be a better option for the St. Louis Cardinals. Oscar Taveras has a full season at the Class AA level plus over 100 at bats at Triple-A last season. Piscotty has played in just 57 games above the High-A level. I understood the rationale for this move coming out of spring, because it wasn’t clear that Taveras was fully healthy. He is now, so he is the choice. With all of that said, Piscotty has more to lose by sitting on the Cardinals’ bench for 3 or 4 days a week. He is still developing and has just one full season of outfield experience. With the struggles at the highest level, we could see a move made pretty quickly involving one of these two prized prospects. The problem is, a move would not result in consistent playing time and that hurts Piscotty. The Cardinals are looking for a spark, and Oscar Taveras would provide that. Now is the time to see what Oscar Taveras can bring at the major league level. Here is Taveras blasting a 2-run homer off of a lefty on April 9, 2014. What do you think? Is it Oscar’s time? Follow me on Twitter @CardinalsFarm or on Facebook. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me at stlbabybirds@yahoo.com  
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