(c) Houston Astros

See Also:
Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac

Position: OF      Born: Dec 25, 1981      Bats: Right      Throws: Right

The speedy Dominican was born on Christmas Day in 1981 and was originally signed by Cleveland. The Astros claimed him in the Rule V draft in 2003 but eventually sent him back. Then Houston traded pitcher Jeriome Robertson to get Luke Scott and Taveras later that spring.

He had a brief call-up in 2004 then became the regular center fielder in 2005 when Carlos Beltran was lost in free agency. He helped the Astros reach the World Series. The following year, he set the club record with a 30-game hitting streak.

For a leadoff hitter, however, his on base percentage was disappointing and he was shipped to Colorado in the deal that brought Jason Jennings to Houston. In his first year with the Rockies, Taveras hit .320 and was a key figure in the Rockies making it to the World Series for the first time.

He swiped 68 bases the following year but then signed with Cincinnati in free agency. Through 2009, he has hit .276 with eight homers and 194 steals. While in Houston, he compiled a .284 average with four homers and 68 steals.