Skip to content
Leody Taveras

Leody Taveras ready to mentor young Rangers outfielders

Leody Taveras raves about young studs Carter, Langford

HOUSTON – As Leody Taveras stepped inside Minute Maid Park for the first time since he and Rangers defeated the Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, he stared out to right field.

The Rangers’ sensational outfielder reminisced about his solo shot off future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander in Game 1 of that thrilling best-of-seven ALCS. Taveras and the Rangers finished the 2023 season with the first World Series title in franchise history.

Taveras then returned home to his native Dominican Republic. His hometown Tenares celebrated him with his friends and family present. It was a memory and feeling he’ll hold deeply in his heart. 

Leody Taveras basked in Dominican love

“It was something different, man,” he said of the reception he received back home. “There was an incredible feeling. Everything was special down there and how the people received me. Just a special feeling.”

Leody Taveras couldn’t do it without the help of his cousin and mentor Willy Taveras, a former big leaguer. Leody continues to communicate with Willy daily as they both talk about their different paths to the World Series. 

Willy Taveras, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, played center field for the Astros from 2004-2006. He was a part of the 2005 Astros team that reached the first World Series in franchise history. However, the 2005 Astros fell short as the Chicago White Sox swept the Astros at Minute Maid Park.


Rangers outfielder Leody Taveras follows cousin Willy

Adolis Garcia powers Rangers to World Series

Adrian Beltre elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Leody Taveras also credits former Rangers teammates Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, and Brock Holt for helping him early in his career. Their experience and knowledge has helped Taveras improve his game physically and mentally.

In addition, former Rangers outfielder and 2018 All-Star Shin-Soo-Choo was Leody’s mentor. When Taveras made his major league debut in 2020, Choo’s 16-year career was coming to an end with the Rangers. The outfielders communicated in the clubhouse and talked about different routes when they would take their defensive drills.

Embracing mentor’s role

Taveras, 25, is entering his fifth season in the big leagues and wants to guide the next upcoming top prospects in any way he can. He’s now the veteran willing to help rookie outfielders Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford as they enter their first full seasons in the majors.

“We got something special with those guys,” Taveras said of Carter and Langford. “I always stay in touch with them and we continue to talk. Those guys, they’re young, but they don’t feel young because they know a lot and they feel like they’ve been here in the big leagues a couple of times.”

Carter and Taveras have their lockers next to each other in the home clubhouse. While Carter commands left and Taveras controls center, both guys come into the game with a plan on how they’ll take their routes.

“He’s been incredible to me,” Carter said of Taveras. “We have lockers beside each other so we talk everyday, and we’re always around each other when we do our outfield work. He’s a great person to watch as far as how hard he works, but also he’s a great defender.

“He’s gonna make me better, and I’m gonna make him better each day. It’s been really fun to play beside him.”

Loaded outfield

Langford, who is MLB Pipeline’s No. 6 prospect, made his major league debut on Opening Day. He was  drafted fourth overall in the 2023 MLB Draft.

The Florida alum has started seven games as the Rangers’ designated hitter and five games in left field. Langford hits with the first group during batting practice. After he finishes his round, he sprints to the outfield to work on some defensive drills.

“Yea, definitely,” Langford said of Taveras helping him. “Everyone’s helped a lot. We have a very good group, and everyone likes to help each other.”

Taveras looks to lead a young group of outfielders just like his mentors did for him.

Stay in the Loop

Get the Our Esquina Email Newsletter

By submitting your email, you are agreeing to receive additional communications and exclusive content from Our Esquina. You can unsubscribe at any time.