Mets writer Tim Horodyski submitted two guest posts, which you can always do by filling out the “Contact” form on the site. Click read more to read Tim’s articles.
Ruben Tejada the Next New York Superstar?
Written by Tim Horodyski
When does a young ballplayer turn from an up and coming prospect to an established major league talent? The answer various base on the player. Has Ruben Tejada shaken off the label of prospect? The answer is yes, Tejada has become a major league talent. The Panama born Tejada has done it in a very unusual way.
Ruben Tejada was not the ideal prospect. He was signed by the Mets at age 17. He was thrust into the major leagues at age 20. Tejada isn’t known for his control of the strike zone, nor will he ever be a power hitter. He doesn’t bring the energy of Jose Reyes or the flashiness of Texas Rangers shortstop, Elvis Andrus. The thing he brings to the table is a sense of calmness and confidence that many young players do not posses. The future superstar has progressed well at the major league level.
In two major league seasons Tejada had racked up 544 at bats. In those at bats he is hitting .256 with an on base percentage (OBP) of .338. He has one home run and 53 runs batted in (RBI). Those numbers do not jump off the page and yell out superstar; however you must look deeper at his body of work.
In 2010 he posted a dismal .213 batting average and an OBP of .305 in 255 plate appearances; which lead fans to think he was a fringe player that would never fully develop into a major league star. After being sent down to the minor leagues he continued to work hard. He continued to get stronger physically and mentally. Tejada has always had great baseball instincts; which is one of the reasons why the Mets have rushed his development. He worked hard on his offense, working to have more quality at bats. His recent ability to make contact and hit line drives is a sign that his bat speed has improved along with his ability to read pitches. This makes him a much better offensive choice for the Mets.
One of Ruben’s best attributes is his glove. Tejada has smoothness to his defensive game that few young players display and has the arm strength to turn the double play. In 2011 he was brought back to the major league level because of injuries on the Mets roster. He played second base when Daniel Murphy tore his MCL. Tejada later played his natural position of shortstop when Jose Reyes went on the disable list.
The then 21 year old Tejada made the most of his playing time in 96 games and 328 at bats he posted a .284 average and a .360 OBP. The last half of the season Tejada batted .299 with a .361 OBP, 11 extra base hits, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored in 160 plate appearances spanning 40 games. This should make Mets fans happy. He has impressed the Mets coaching staff, particularly his manager, Terry Collins. Mets fans will indeed be looking forward to watching Tejada having an outstanding career in Flushing. There is no doubt that Tejada will be making the Mets 50th year anniversary season very fun to watch.
Whether playing second base or shortstop Tejada will be a fixture in the Mets infield for years to come. To learn more about Ruben Tejada or the New York Mets please visit the Mets online at www.mets.com or www.losmets.com. To learn more about the Mets 50th year anniversary celebration plans please visit www.Mets50.com
The Curious Case of Pedro Beato
Written by Tim Horodyski
On October 27, 1986 the New York Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox to capture their second World Series title. On that very same night down in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic a future major leaguer was born by the name of Pedro Beato. So it only seems fitting that Beato pitch for the Mets as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary.
Beato attended Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, New York. During his junior year he had Tommy John surgery. After coming back from the procedure with no ill effects, the Mets were interested in the right hander. This lead the Mets to draft him in the 2005 Major League draft in the 17th round. In order to persuade him to sign with the team the Mets invited Beato to Shea Stadium to meet his idol Pedro Martinez. He resisted the temptation of being a teammate with the man he grew up idolizing, instead Beato choose to attend St. Petersburg College located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Beato used his time at St. Petersburg College to hone his delivery and to work on his pitches. In the 2006 draft the Baltimore Orioles selected Beato in the first round (32nd overall). This was due to the fact that his fastball can reach 97mph. He can command the strike zone, and has good downward movement on his pitches. The Orioles had drafted a pitcher with tremendous upside. Going into the 2007 season, Beato was rated the 99th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He participated in the 2007 All-Star Futures Game.
In 2010 the Orioles left him off of their 40 man roster thus leaving any team to draft him during the Rule 5 draft. The Mets took full advantage of Baltimore’s mistake by selecting him and making him a member of the organization. On April 1, 2011 Beato made his major league debut, pitching two scoreless innings against the Florida Marlins. The two scoreless innings started a Mets franchise record of 18.2 innings of scoreless baseball to start to start a career. Jack DiLauro did not allow an earned run for 17.2 innings to open his major league career in 1969. The good times continued to roll for Beato, when he earned his first major league win on April 27th throwing another two scoreless innings, this time against the Washington Nationals. The good times for Beato later ended.
On May 4th the Mets placed Beato on the 15 day disable list due to right elbow tendinitis. Beato would finish his first major league season with 67 innings pitched 39 strikeouts and a 4.30 earn run average (E.R.A). One thing Mets fans want to keep in mind is that in 12 innings pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies he has a 1.50 era with 3 strikeouts. These are good number considering the Phillies left handed heavy line up. With the recent bullpen additions the Mets have made, Beato may be the odd man out. With Frank Franciso being the projected closer, Jon Rauch the clubs projected set-up man, and Tim Byrdak being the lefty specialist. This leaves Beato without a role. Sandy Alderson the Mets General Manager and Terry Collins the Mets Manager will have to decide the future of Pedro Beato before the season starts on April 5, 2012 when they host the Atlanta Braves. Beato can be sent down to the minor leagues for a little more seasoning, or he can stay in the major leagues and continue to develop. He would be a great choice to give the ball to in the 7th inning.
Whatever Pedro Beato’s role will be the 50th Anniversary season of the New York Mets will be fun to watch. To learn more about Pedro Beato or the rest of the Mets log on to www.mets.com or www.losmets.com. The Mets have launched a special website dedicated to their 50th season anniversary at www.mets50.com. You can catch Mets games on SNY TV during the 2012 season.
Note from the author.
Author’s note: I am the publisher of the on-line monthly magazine The 7 Train. We can visit us at http://snack.to/fups7s5p.
I have been a lifelong fan of the game of baseball. I root for the New York Mets. Baseball has a deep meaning for me. One of my earliest childhood memories is going to Opening Day 1987 at Shea Stadium with my father. That was the day the Mets received their World Series rings. Darryl Strawberry hit a three run home run to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2. So it is a great honor to be coving the Mets for their 50th year anniversary, so let’s hope the Amazing Mets have a great season. Let’s Go Mets!!!
To view Tim’s latest edition of his Mets magazine, click here.
Thanks to Tim for submitting his wonderful articles!