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Big League Stew

Cards broadcast hilariously fails to identify team’s second-best prospect

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

And this, dear Stewies, is apparently what you get when a "minor league guy" enters Saturday's exhibition game between the Cardinals and Mets as a pinch runner ...  but then the graphics guy in the truck spills a soda all over St. Louis' spring training roster and decides, "eh, let's just have some fun as there's no way anyone is still watching this game."

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But the eye of the Internet screencapper never sleeps! As for the real identity of this mysterious young man who apparently enjoys paying tribute to Alfredo Aceves (or Dennis Rodman), Deadspin has put together a fantastical backstory that includes a coffee plantation, Hugo Chavez and an international spy ring (though strangely not an explanation for why it looks like he's missing half of his right arm).

In truth, SB Nation's Dan Moore points out that this generally identified pinch runner is not a garden variety ham-'n-egger whose main claim to fame will end up being a pinch runner in a Grapefruit League game.

No. 91 is actually Oscar Taveras, a 19-year-old outfielder who hit .386/.444/.584 with eight homers and 62 RBIs at Single-A Quad Cities in 2011. That performance led Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus to rank him as the second-best Cardinals prospect, worthy of five stars and a spot just behind pitcher Shelby Miller.

Oscar Taveras. It just sounds like a star's name, doesn't it? It's one that will command respect when spoken over a P.A. and one that will be easy for anyone to recall when his visage appears on a television screen.

But not just yet.

UPDATE: Fox Sports Midwest spokesman Geoff Goldman sent along the following email. "Our apologies to Oscar Taveras. He's the Cardinals top hitting prospect, so we expect to be identifying him as a 'major league guy' in the next few years."

Make sure you're ready for opening day ...
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