Monday, March 3, 2008

Ruben Tejada is Hitting .500 (but he needs to work on his RBIs)

10. Ruben Tejada, 2B/SS
DOB: 9/1/89
Height/Weight: 5-11/165B
ats/Throws: R/RAcquired: NDFA, 2006, Panama
2007 Stats: .283/.401/.367 at Rookie-level (35 G)
Year In Review: A previously obscure Panamanian, Tejada put up a .400+ on-base percentage in the Gulf Coast League in his stateside debut.

The Good: Tejada earns high praise from Mets officials for his advanced approach (he walked more than he struck out) and his baseball intelligence. He has a line-drive bat and uses all fields, and he shows excellent fundamentals defensively.
The Bad: Unlike most Latin American teenagers, Tejada isn't especially toolsy. He has little power or projection for any, and his speed and arm are both no more that average, leaving him with the likely profile of a second baseman in the end.
Fun Fact: Tejada hit just .186 with the bases empty, but more than doubled that with a .377 mark with runners on base.
Perfect World Projection: An everyday second baseman and ideal No. 2 hitter in the lineup.
Timetable: Tejada might lack upside, but his polish is more than enough to handle a full-season debut at Low-A as an 18-year-old.
-Baseball Prospectus

BP ranks Tejada as the tenth best prospect in a system that they think is awful. Their blurb about him interested me, because you have to love the high on-base percentage, and I think it’s neat that what he has going for him is an “advanced approach,” “baseball intelligence,” and “polish,” when he is only 18 years old. And his high walk totals and lack of power seem somewhat a-typical. Since the Mets will need a new second basemen in the next couple years, I had thought about saying something about him here, but then I figured “Nah, what’s the use, he’ll probably just get traded for something, or rot in the minors, so why get folks’ hopes up?”

Well, if I had mentioned him, I would have seemed smart when he drove in the winning run in today’s game against the Braves. In his only at-bats of spring training (so far), Tejada went 1-for-2. Still, you’d think he should have more than one measly RBI to go along with that .500 average…

I did, however, mention Nelson Figueroa, a finesse pitcher who hasn’t been in the majors for a while, but had a good run in Winter Ball this off-season. So far in Mets camp, Figueroa has pitched three innings and allowed no runs, three hits, no walks, and 2 Ks. Hope I’m not jinxing him by pointing that out…

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