Tejada has impressed everyone with his play so far. He has shown he can get on base, field, do almost anything the Mets need him to do. However, there is one thing that has impressed me the most about Tejada this season: patience at the plate.
In Friday night’s loss to the Giants, Ruben Tejada was up with two outs in the ninth inning. Josh Thole was on sevond and Mike Baxter was on third with Sergio Romo pitching for the Giants against Tejada.
Romo has one of the best sliders in baseball, moving inside to outside against a right-handed hitter. Tejada fought off pitch after pitch. He worked the count to 3-2 as well. Tejada was taking some pitches that were so close to the strike zone that many 15-year veterans of the game could not pass up. He struck out, but it was one heck of an at-bat against a guy with great stuff.
Tejada has shown great strides this season at the plate. When he was called up to the majors in 2010, he was a weak-hitting shortstop whose glove had carried him through the upper levels of the minor leagues. His career minor league average is just .270, including a .264 mark in Triple-A. However, since his call-up, Tejada has worked hard on his hitting, and has clearly improved.
Now, Ruben is a big league hitter. If you stretch out his stats from his first 13 games into a 162-game season, he has 88 doubles, 88 RBI, 75 walks, and 75 runs. Obviously, this hot streak can’t continue the whole season, but the numbers are certainly a promising sign that Ruben Tejada has a bright future with the Mets.