This absolutely beautiful Oscar Taveras St. Louis Cardinals autographed mini helmet is authenticated by PSA/DNA.
Regarded as a left-handed hitting version of Vladimir Guerrero, one of Taveras' prized skills is an ability that few possess to square the bat on - and effectively hit - pitches that are out of the strike zone, much as the case was with Guerrero. Because of his bat speed and the wide range of pitch locations of which he can hit, Taveras successfully unravels what are termed as "pitcher's pitches," which helps contribute to his high batting average. An aggressive hitter, Taveras maintains control with his smooth swing. With a wide batting stance and slight leg kick that "allows him to maintain both incredible balance and timing," he shifts his weight on his right (back) leg "before connecting with the ball with an explosive, quick swing." His combination of strong, quick hands and excellent hand-eye coordination allow him to assert considerable bat control to make constant, square contact with the incoming pitch. With an ability to drive the ball to all fields, his power ceiling is high, projected with 25 to 30 home runs in his peak. His preparation has also received high marks. Through 2013, Taveras' career minor league batting average was .320 with 45 home runs and 275 RBIs in 374 games.
Although Taveras' defensive skills are not as prodigious as his hitting abilities, he runs routes well and has solid instincts. Earlier in his professional career, he gained a reputation for concentrating too heavily on hitting at the expense of his fielding. However, Taveras worked to increased his abilities in the outfield. With a strong throwing arm, his defensive skills project him to be corner outfielder, particularly right field. However, the Cardinals believe that Taveras shows the range and skill to be an effective center fielder, at least for the near future, so he has been taking an apprenticeship to learn the position.