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Willy Taveras: What's the call?

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The quote from David Ohno on Josh Fogg wasn't the only I thought worthy of further discussion from yesterday's game, user maybe this year posted the following, and since nothing came of it, I thought it was worth a follow-up look:

I am more worried about taveras those bunt singles (7 that I can remember, maybe more)work against minor leaguers or non roster invitees but against mlb'ers he will not get on base as much* One of his doubles should have been a catch and a bunt that should have been a sac was thrown away but he was given a bunt hit, (bad scorers) and with no power (for example today finley just dropped below taveras in slg) mark my words I see a serious leadoff problem.

*Simple math last year taveras bunt hits amounted to about a fifth of his total hits. In spring training about two fifths have been for bunt hits.  Take those away and subtract the bad defense you then come with his real avg. 12-43 or about the same as finley 12-42 but with a lower slg and higher obp (which I have been surprised by) I hope I am wrong and do not have a solution but I am just not sold on taveras quite yet.

I've got a couple of mixed bag reactions to Willy T's at bats this Spring as well; he just hasn't made much in the line of solid contact. That said, I know the infield at Minute Maid plays considerably faster on balls in play than you get at Coors, and our groundskeepers have promised to keep the grass even longer this year. That's going to play right into the games of Taveras and Kaz Mat, without taking away much from our sluggers. I'm going to estimate that Taveras will have about a quarter or so of his hits come in the form of bunt singles this year.

Check out the fabulous photos of Willy T and other Rockies in JLaff's diary to the right.

I've been more encouraged by the uptick in Willy's BB rate, but given that it's a small sample, I want to see him continue it for a while before I'm sold that he's developed his patience. His OBP as a leadoff hitter will be an important benchmark for the success of the team, and once the season starts I'll start grading the job he and Kaz Mat are doing at getting on, avoiding too many costly basepath outs and getting around to score on a game by game basis. Defensively, I've been impressed by his arm, but a glaring miscue the other day showed he still lacks the defensive leadership necessary for a centerfielder. I'm not completely convinced myself, but I'm cautiously optimistic that he'll be a solid top of the order hitter with an OBP in the .370 range. What do other people think?