Living up to expectations as an organizations top-10 prospect is a daunting task. There have been hundreds of prospects that showed promise early on that never made it to the major leagues, let alone stay at that level. Taylor Teagarden has had to battle with that since being drafted in the 3rd round by the Texas Rangers.
Teagarden was originally drafted back in 2002 by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round but never signed and played his collegiate career for the Texas Longhorns. Fast-forward three years to see him drafted once again, this time by the Texas Rangers in the third round in 2005. He was immediately listed as a top-10 prospect for the Rangers as soon as he signed.
After going through the Rangers system relatively fast, Teagarden made his major league debut in July of 2008. He showed promise early on hitting .309 in 16 games. Some setbacks and injuries later, Teagarden would be up and down between the minors leagues and the major leagues before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the end of 2011. The story was similar in Baltimore. He would play in 45 games with the Orioles over two season before being released at the end of last season.
In comes the Mets. Teagarden was signed to a deal in January and was slated to play in Las Vegas and probably not thought of to be behind the plate in New York because of Travis d’Arnaud. Well as we have learned that didn’t quite work the way the Mets had hoped.
After 34 games in Las Vegas, Teagarden earned a promotion once again to the big leagues. At the time of his call-up, Teagarden was hitting .279 for the 51′s with eight home runs and 19 RBI. Playing well in the minors was not always the problem during his career. Staying healthy and producing in the majors on a consistent basis was held him back.
On Tuesday, Teagarden wasn’t off to a good start in the game striking out in his first two at-bats. He would have the chance to leave his mark in the sixth inning with the bases loaded. Teagarden would deliver hitting a grand-slam making the game 6-1, furthering the Mets chance at ending their losing streak. They would hold off the Brewers snapping the skid at six games with a 6-2 win.
It has come out that the catching duties would be split without a clear starter. Teagarden produced at a critical time and will hopefully get more opportunities to do so the rest of the way.