Don’t look now, but among Mets players with 20 or more at-bats on the young season, shortstop Ruben Tejada is second on the team in batting with a .286 average and he pairs that with an impressive team-leading .400 on-base percentage.
The young Panamanian native has taken a lot of flack over the last six months, but to his credit he’s been quietly going about his job and trying to put an abysmal 2013 season behind him.
Before last night’s 4-0 victory over the Braves, manager Terry Collins spoke about his starting shortstop’s performance thus far.
“I think Ruben certainly had some work ahead of him in spring training,” Collins said. “He’s started out this season probably the way you’d like him to. Confidence is up, his at-bats have been good, he’s played good defense. I think as we get into it and towards the warmer months, I think he’ll get better if we can keep him healthy. He’s going to play a lot. We gotta figure out some days off for him coming up here beyond this road trip, but he’s played very well so far.”
Tejada went 2-for-3 in Tuesday’s contest, driving in two runs and scoring another pair, but what has been tough to ignore is his growing confidence at the plate. He’s having some solid at-bats and squaring up the bat evenly against the ball.
Another thing worth noting is his patience at the plate which was on full display in his first at-bat against Braves starter Aaron Harang when he drew a five-pitch walk.
All in all it’s been a good start for Tejada who has hit in six of the team’s first seven games.
Defensively, Tejada committed his first error of the season in last night’s game, but he’s shown some significant improvement from the shaky defense he had exhibited this Spring and much of last season.
I’ve gotta tip my cap to him…