Young Mets could challenge for NL rookie of the year

New York Mets pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. (Getty Images/AFP)

New York Mets pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. (Getty Images/AFP)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:26 PM ET

Bryce Harpers don’t come along every year, so trying to pick the future National League rookie of the year is like sniffing for truffles. The needs of NL teams shift during the spring and a young player who might have appeared to be three months or a year away from being ready for prime time could make the jump due to superior play or an injury to a veteran. Given that scenario, we are picking five players who are at the top of the class and ready for promotion at some point this season.

OSCAR TAVARES St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis outfield currently looks set with the trio of Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran, but at some point they have to make room for the 20-year-old Tavares. The native of the Dominican Republic has shown a quick rise in his development in his three seasons in the minors. In 2011 at Class-A Quad Cities, he hit .384 in a 78-game season. Tavares made the jump last season to Double-A and, in the Texas League, he hit .321.


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