Taveras scales wall for incredible HR robbery of Yordan

October 19th, 2023

ARLINGTON -- In case you forgot, Leody Taveras is a great outfielder, too.

Highly lauded for his bat in the Rangers’ postseason run, Taveras found his way into the highlight reels with an incredible home run robbery of Yordan Alvarez in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Taveras, who got the start at center field in the Rangers’ 8-5 loss to the Astros, covered 88 feet to get to the wall at Globe Life Field. He needed his full extension as he leaped over the wall to grab a ball that left Alvarez’s bat at an elite 111.1 mph exit velocity and traveled 416 feet.

That loud out would have been a home run in 22 of 30 Major League ballparks, according to Statcast, and it had an expected batting average of 1.000.

Taveras’ efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by his manager -- even if his name wasn’t among the Rangers’ MLB-high five Gold Glove finalists.

"We have five guys that are finalists and a couple, I think, that were left out, to be honest: Josh Jung and Taveras,” said Bruce Bochy before Game 3. “They both have had fine years defensively. But I'm proud of how these guys have separated their offense from their defense, and they've just done a great job out there."

Taveras has taken pride in separating the two sides of the game, but he can feel equally good about both aspects right now. The 25-year-old has a .320 average with a 1.029 OPS in eight games this postseason, all while hitting in the No. 9 spot.

“We’ve always had a plan as a team, but I think the way that I feel at the plate has helped me recently,” Taveras said, in Spanish, on Tuesday. “I feel really confident right now.”