Oscar Taveras is getting called up to the Major Leagues. For those of us who have followed the top prospects in baseball since last season, this arrival is long-awaited and thoroughly satisfying.
For starters, the estimated time of arrival was always around the first week of June. This was no secret, as that is when the Super Two cutoff (a rule set in place to give teams an extra year of arbitration control over a player) occurs. This, and many other “Team-Protecting” rules are at the large detriment to the game and its fans, but it is a necessary evil. Again, regardless of how anyone feels about the impact of service time and eligibility, it is real and it is known.
Now, it is June.
Technically, it’s May 31st. But let’s consider this an early present a few hours before the big day. Baseball just became the family that opens their gifts on Christmas Eve.
Taveras won’t be the only big name to get the call in the coming days, as Pirates’ top prospect Gregory Polanco has been murdering minor league pitchers since April. Again, in similar fashion to how teams attempt to cover up their use of the Super Two deadline, the Pirates tried to tell us Polanco wasn’t ready. So did the Astros with George Springer.
To everyone’s pleasant surprise, Houston felt it had to made the proactive move of calling up Springer in April and forgo waiting for the Super Two deadline to pass. For a few weeks, they were almost proven right about Springer’s development needs. Fast forward to May (still before he was expected to reach the Show) and he is the hottest hitter in baseball.
Regardless of past success and comparables, the story today is about Oscar Taveras, a prospect so highly regarded that there were even talks last season about his possible appearance in St. Louis.
One more year of development brought one more year of hype. But the wait is finally over. Whatever comes next, it starts as the wave of prospects get begin to roll into the Majors. As the calendar is about to turn and as both metaphorical pitchers are warm and settled in, the real show will now get underway.
It’s a great time to be a baseball fan.