MMO Mailbag: Tejada’s Role After 2014?

Wex asks:

Do you think Ruben Tejada will still be the everyday shortstop in 2015? The reason I ask is the Mets drafted Gavin Cecchini one year after they went way over slot on Phillip Evans. They also signed the top Dominican shortstop Germán Ahmed Rosario in July for a record setting bonus. All these moves don’t seem to bode well for Ruben Tejada who has been holding his own at 22 years old and did well considering he had some big shoes to fill.

Sean Kenny replies:

Each one of those guys you’ve mentioned it at least three full years away from helping the MLB club. Just to give this more depth, i’ll approach them one-by-one.

Gavin Cecchini has under 200 AB’s, so a repeat in Brooklyn is possible, if not it would be an aggressive push for a kid turning 19 to go to Savannah. Defense has never been the question, and most of the thought in drafting Gavin here was his ability to stick at short. His bat will essentially decide whether he is a star, a useful piece or career minor-leaguer.

Phillip Evans was drafted as a shortstop, but doubts about his size and his glove have always had him leaning towards the right side of the infield. Evans has 294 AB’s, so he has the same chance to repeat Brooklyn, if not get a promotion. Evans is in a different class, as his defense will be average/above-average, but his bat will be his calling card. While he hasn’t shown a ton of power, he has shown some ability to be selective at the plate so as he matures age wise, he should hone that ability. Evans is a finished product physically, and seeing anymore weight on that frame could hurt his already average speed.

Rosario is a newly-signed 16 year old prospect who can easily wind up in the outfield pending how he handles the infield. Even if he displayed Flores-like aptitude with hitting, seeing him near the MLB by 2015 would be amazing and a total stretch.

Tejada will be the shortstop for the next year or two at minimum based on his affordable contract, and the ability he has shown so far. It also does not hurt that the best options in the Mets system are all worse offensively, and without Wilfredo Tovar, worse defensively by a large margin.