After struggling to find a home at the highest level of professional baseball in recent years, veteran outfielder Willy Taveras will officially be invited to Spring Training and given a Minor League deal with the Royals according to a report by Evan Drellich of MLB.com.
The 31-year-old Taveras hit an impressive .302 with the Colorado Rockies' Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs last season, but was routinely passed over for other teammates when it came time for a call-up. Though he last played in an MLB game back in 2010 with the Washington Nationals, Taveras still holds a career .274 batting average with 662 hits in 670 total games played.
One of the fastest players on the basepaths in professional baseball, the 6'0, 180-pound Taveras also stole 68 bases over a 133-game span with the Rockies during the 2008 season. In addition to leading the majors in swipes that year, Taveras was only caught a mere seven times, representing a remarkable 90.6 percent success rate. While he will certainly need to improve his plate discipline in order to remain in a full-time role with the Royals in 2013, Taveras' blinding speed could prove to be a serious asset for manager Ned Yost next season.