A few weeks ago, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo took a close look at nineteen year-old shortstop Ruben Tejada, who will begin playing in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday when his Panama team takes on Puerto Rico (5:00 PM EST, ESPN).
Mayo caught up with Mets vice president of player development Tony Bernazard just prior to rosters being announced last month. Asked whether this could be a negative for Tejada, because he’s so young and playing against such advanced talent, Bernazard said the following:
“When you’re good, you overcome all that stuff. He played a few games at the Major League level in Spring Training last year and he held his own. He still has a lot to learn and a ways to go, but we are not that concerned that if he’s picked, that it’s going to hurt him. That’s going to help him.”
A very good defensive middle infielder, Ruben made his full season debut last year in the Florida State League at just 18 and hit .229 (114-for-497) with 19 doubles, 4 triples, 41 walks, and 77 strikeouts in 131 games. He was ranked as the 19th best prospect in the Mets organization in this site’s Top Prospect series a few weeks ago. You can read that report here.
like i said yesterday, i love the idea of being able to see ruben on the field with some of this great talent on such a big stage… the experience and what he’ll learn will be invaluable as he continues to get older and move up the organizational ladder…