Born, raised in D.R., Taveras also has ties to Canada

Cards outfielder debated playing for Team Canada in '12 World Baseball Classic

Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals
Hometown: Puerta Plata, D.R.

Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, but spent some of his teenage years in Montreal. At 16, Taveras returned home to Puerto Plata and therefore became an international free agent instead of being eligible for the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

But Taveras possesses a Canadian passport and was eligible for the 2012 World Baseball Classic. That season, the Cardinals invited Taveras to his first Spring Training, and just a few days later, he thought about leaving to join Team Canada.

"Play for Canada? Why not? I have a Canadian passport," Taveras said in 2012. "I've never played for Canada before. It would be good for me. I work very hard at my game."

But it wasn't to be as Taveras stayed with the Cardinals for the spring. He entered 2014 as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, according to But because he moved between the Dominican Republic and Canada, Taveras flew slightly under the radar as a prospect.

The Cards signed Taveras for a modest $145,000 and he's developed into one of the game's budding stars.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter from This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.