Posted by Mack Ade at 6:37 PM
Toby Hyde on his #19 - IF Rueben Tejada (currently only on ‘honorable mention’ part of Mack’s Mets Prospect List):
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. 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.
Mack: Tobi has seen much more of this kid than I have, so there’s a good chance he’ll be back on my list as soon as he starts to deliver. The few times I saw him at ST, he was a mess defensively, and he had a horrible season last year at the bat. Was he rushed? Yes. Should he stay in Lucy for another year? Yes. We’ll see from Tejada v1.0 (not to be confused with Miquel in the chain )as the season progress.
Past Mack's Facts on Tejada:
Ruben Tejada SS R R 5-11 165 9-1-89 Panama
Tejada started the 2007 season with the VSL Mets where he had a wonderful season (.364/.466/.479 in 121 at bats, 16 SB). He was promoted and came stateside to finish the season starting for the GCL Mets (.283/.401/.367 in 120 at bats, 16 SB).
2007 Tejada was named the recipient of the 2007 Sterling Award as the MVP of the VSL Mets.
In November 2007, Scouts.com named Tejada the 25th top Mets prospect.
In late January 2007, Baseball America raked Tejada as the 18th top Mets prospect, adding:
"best present tools are on the defensive side, as he has above average arm strength and range that allow him to make all the plays at shortstop"
In February 2008, Baseball Prospectus aarded him a 2-star prospect rating and named him as the 10th overall Mets prospect.
Also in February 2008, Rotoworld ranked Tejada as the #2 Mets prospect, saying:
It doesn't happen very often, but Tejada made an in-season jump from the Venezuelan Summer League to the GCL after hitting .364/.466/.479 with 16 steals in 32 games last season. He didn't hit any homers or steal many bases in the U.S., but he did manage a .401 OBP as a 17-year-old. Tejada doesn't have the same kind of tools typically associated with the top young international properties. He's built like a second baseman, and it's doubtful that he'll ever possess more than 20-homer ability. Even that is probably pushing it. Still, that he's this young and already possesses such strong on-base skills makes him worthy of attention.
A May 2008 scouting report from Andy Braunstein:
Ruben Tejada - SS - At only 18 and not drowning in the FSL that is by his best tool. He has some hitting ability and a chance for this bat speed to go from 5.5-6 to 6.5 making him ML capable. Power should rise to 10-15. His glove is fine, and his more due to youth, not used to the English FSL hitters put on their grounders or having to learn when to throw, and when to pocket, attempts to nab guys at 1st at shots in the hole. He is the best SS prospect they have and if things work out 2B in a few years should be wide open.
In June 2008, Baseball America wrote:
High Class A St. Lucie SS Ruben Tejada (Mets) was arguably the worst hitter in the Florida State League during the first two months of the season. But Tejada, 18, showed in June that he's not as overmatched as many thought. This week, he hit .409/.458/.500 (9-for-22) with two doubles and a 2-2 walk-to-strikeout ratio. For the month of June, he's hitting .373/.428/.482 . . .
In late July, Rotoworld’s came out with their mid-season adjusted Top 150 Prospect List and Tejada was ranked 105th, with a 2013 ETA.
In late July 2008, ProjectProspect.com updated their top 10 Mets prospect list and he was ranked #8
Tejada looked rushed in 2008, playing the entire season for St. Lucie and hitting only .229/.293/.296 in 497 at bats.