Rising Apple Player of the Week: Ruben Tejada

By Matt Musico

The Rising Apple staff chooses one player to highlight on our site for their outstanding or unique performance for the last week. If  you have a nomination on who should be crowned as the Rising Apple Player of the Week, please let us know! You can leave us a comment, tweet us (@RisingAppleBlog) or make a comment on Facebook.

In a week where the Mets went 2-4 in games against the Padres and the Marlins, the one constant remained to be Ruben Tejada. He’s currently enjoying a career-high 14-game hitting streak and it just seems that he’ll be able to get a hit every time he steps to the plate. So, that’s why the Rising Apple staff has chosen to give Tejada his second player of the week honors this season.

Being cemented in the lead off spot for what seems to be the rest of the season, it is important for Tejada to continue getting on base,

proving that his .370 OBP is the real deal. He did a real good job this week, as he went 11-for-31 (.355 BA) while walking four times. He’s only scored one time during this stretch, but it’s not his fault that the hitters in the middle of the order like David Wright and Ike Davis have had a hard time clearing the table once it’s been set. Tejada has also racked up four more multi-hit games, which gives him 26 such games out of the 67 he’s played in. In case you were trying to do the quick math, that means that Tejada is getting at least two hits in 39% of the games he’s played in during 2012.

I mentioned this earlier in the week, but his consistency against both right and left-handed pitchers is quite remarkable. When a righty is on the mound, the young shortstop is hitting .322/.374/.385; when there is a southpaw toeing the slab, he’s hitting .324/.363/.400. He also gets better when the innings get deeper, as his average jumps to .342 with two outs from his .305 average with one out. He’s become more selective, as his swing percentage has decreased three percentage points from 2011, and his BABIP has sky rocketed to .385.

Also, not enough can be said about the patience that he’s been showing; Tejada did show his potential in 376 at-bats last season. He compiled a .360 OBP and a 9.3% BB rate, but no one thought that he would be able to step into the starting shortstop job and be as consistently good as he has been. Being only 22-years-old, the sky is the limit for this young player.

Honorable Mention: A shout out has to go to R.A. Dickey, as he became the first National Pitcher to 15 wins this season after beating the Marlins yesterday afternoon at Citi Field. The knuckleballer went the distance for the fifth time this season, and is now sporting a 15-3 record to go with his 2.72 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.