#19 – SS Ruben Tejada

ruben-tejadaBats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 5’11”, 165 lbs

Acquired: NDFA (7/11/06)

Born: 9/1/89 (Veraguas, Panama)

Why Ranked Here: Tejada survived the entire 2008 season playing nearly every day in the Florida State League at the tender age of 18. Tejada did not turn 19 until the final weekend of the season, so time is certainly on his side. Tejada has very soft hands, and an average arm at shortstop. He showed nearly average range at short where he was more comfortable moving to his left, and was working on improving his backhand pick. Evaluating Tejada’s offensive ability is made more difficult by balancing 1. his youth, 2. the four level jump he made from the GCL in ’07 to the FSL in ’08, 3. his size. Tejada’s swing works to put the barrel on the ball, but he was generating very little power or loud contact.

2008: Rushed to the FSL, Tejada had one month (June) where he hit over .300, two where he hit in low.200s (April & August) and two where he hit below .200 (May & July). The best part is that he persevered and played everyday as the smallest player on the field.

Dr. Pangloss Says: Tejada is young and can pick it. At the high end, he becomes a shortstop with a contact oriented approach at the plate who derives his offensive value from plate discipline and superior defense afield.

On the Flipside: Tejada is relatively far from the majors by advanced-A standards by age, baseball and physical development. It was impressive feat of stamina that he was on the field everyday through a hot muggy Florida summer, but now he must continue to add some strength.

Projected 2009 Start: I just can’t make the argument that Tejada is ready for AA, and with Adam Wogan indicating that Jose Coronado will start in Buffalo in ’09, there aren’t a lot of candidates to play SS everyday in Binghamton. The Mets could put Tejada on the Coronado track – that of gifted defensive SS SS -  aggressively assigning him to Binghamton, despite the fact that he has not conquered the FSL. Moreover, the St. Lucie middle infield could be crowded with Greg Veloz and Reese Havens also vying for playing time. St. Lucie is the call, with the staff working hard to find everyone enough pt.