With continuing Jose Reyes trade talk, it forces Met fans to think about who could possibly replace him. We have heard the name Wilmer Flores, but he has question marks and is still only playing in A St. Lucie, but what about Ruben Tejada? This is the same Ruben Tejada who at times could not buy a hit last season against major league pitching. Tejada struggled while with the Mets, only batting .213 in 260 at bats. Tejada also spend most of his time playing second base, but shortstop is his number one position and he is playing it full time this season with AAA Buffalo.
Tejada is only 21 and has the reputation for being a solid defensive player, but could struggle offensively. This season at Buffalo, it has been the total opposite. He has been a mess defensively with 9 errors in 29 games. Offensively, he has been very impressive. In last nights game for Buffalo, Tejada went 3 for 4 with a home run. For the season he is batting .301 with 3 home runs and 18 RBI’s.
The other impressive part of Tejada’s game is his plate discipline. He has a .361 OBP this year, and despite his struggles in the majors, displayed that attribute. He had a .302 OBP with only a .213 batting average. Tejada clearly has the ability to take pitches and more importantly, draw walks. This attribute suggests Tejada could become a successful offensive player, especially considering he is doing it at such a young age. Drawing walks is hard to teach and is something which the Sandy Alderson “money ball” front office wants in their players.
Tejada will most likely be up with the Mets at some point this season. I will go with the premise that he is a good defensive player, and is in a funk and will get him out of it. The question remains can Tejada become an adequate offensive player against major league pitching? He has always hit in the minors, but will it translate to the majors?
Ruben Tejada will never be Jose Reyes, but if he continues to prove he can hit, he is a cheap alternative. For the Mets franchise right now, cheap alternatives are what they want.