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Could Oscar Taveras Be Next After The Cardinals Promote Matt Adams?

The St. Louis Cardinals promoted Matt Adams Saturday night, and he started for them Sunday in their loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 2-4 and looking exceptionally competent as a first baseman. The 23-year-old was, thanks to first-rounder Zack Cox's continued struggles as a pro, the Cardinals' most Major League-ready position-player prospect, and now he has a chance to start for the rest of the season—what stands between him is potential good news from Lance Berkman's MRI and Matt Carpenter's strong rookie season. So: Could 20-year-old Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals' best overall position player prospect, be the next hitter the Cardinals bring up for good?

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Possibly, but not necessarily. His top competition is fellow Springfield Cardinals star Kolten Wong, last year's first-rounder. Wong's advantages: He's 21 years old, he looks well-rounded as a prospect—he's hitting .336/.409/.500—and the Cardinals don't have much holding him back from the second base job. Taveras is hammering the ball, slugging well over .600 so far, but the Cardinals want—or at least have professed to want—to keep him in the minors until he's a finished product as a baserunner and a fielder.

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There's also the matter of Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran. If the Cardinals' corner outfielders remain healthy through 2012, and none of their three second basemen break out, this contest looks like Wong's to lose; he could appear in the big leagues as soon as next April. But this is all academic; the next top prospect the Cardinals call up, once you forget about these categories, will almost definitely be Shelby Miller.

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