Ruben Tejada does not get a lot of hype, but there are aspects of him that are very interesting, and one of the most intriguing is his age. I had no idea until recently (this season) that during this baseball season he will turn just 19 years old. I thought he was much older than that. He first played for the Mets in the VESL and then in the Gulf Coast League in 2007 when he was only 17 years old. The shortstop was named the Mets best defensive infielder by Baseball America (12/19/2008) and Best Strike Zone Discipline (11/9/2007).
Since then, Corey Coles was considered to have the best strike zone discipline followed by Reese Havens, but Coles was later traded for Angel Pagan.
Statistically speaking, Tejada’s first year was very good as he had 78 hits in 241 AB (.324 BA), 9 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 18 SB. The next season in 2008, he played for St. Lucie where he had 114 hits in 497 AB (.229 BA), 19 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 37 RBI.
This past spring training, he had 22 AB with the Mets, and had six hits, a double and four RBI. So far this season he has played with the Class-AA Binghamton, where he has tallied 74 hits in 275 AB (.269 BA) with 13 2B, 3B, 2 HR, and 22 RBI.
Its pretty incredible how fast Tejada has moved up the Mets farm system and after only three seasons he is playing fairly well in AA at the age of 19, which is a positive sign.
It’s hard to predict what the Mets will do with Tejada if he turns on a hot streak to finish off the season, or if he has a breakout season next year. He’s a young player that has shown signs of success and people tend to like his defense. It remains a mystery as to what the Mets will do with him in the long run. He seems to be a player the Mets will watch next Spring or over the winter to try to determine his if he has a future with the Mets or if he is just a bargaining chip for a trade.