(bumped from FanPosts. --eric)
Between here and MinorLeagueBall.com, I've seen a lot of Mets top prospects lists. In the Top 5 I've seen Jefry Marte, and I've also seen Eddie Kunz and Scott Moviel ranked considerably high for themselves. What I've also seen is some clear underrating of one Ruben Tejada. One blogger considered Ruben Tejada "Luis Castillo sans Speed." So I'm gonna give Tejada the love he deserves.
Ruben Tejada is going to be the Mets' replacement for Luis Castillo at 2B. I'll give you the rundown on exactly who he is:
League: AA (Eastern League)
As you can see, Tejada is a small, young player in a league of big guys who are usually ages 22-24. So what makes this kid so special in my eye? Let's do some scouting:
Contact Ability: Tejada is probably best known for his ability to make contact with the ball. At 17, his first pro season, he spent his Summer in Rookie League for the GCL Mets. Tejada received 120 At-bats (150 PAs) of hitting, in which his K-rate was just 13.3%, which in today's game is considerably low. Tejada hit for a .327 BABIP as well. After being aggressively promoted to A+ ball in St. Lucie, Tejada had a slightly raised K-rate, but his BABIP decreased toa .268. His swing was no match for FSL pitchers. In 2009, Tejada has been demonstrating some very positive signs. First off, his BABIP was raised back to a good and sustainable .328. Secondly, his K-rate diminished to a career-low 12.7%. Part of he reborn success is some leveling of his swing which still has a bit of a loopy quality in the beginnig, but also he's just plain stronger than he was a couple years ago. I'm expecting his BABIP to increase another .010 to .015 points as he bulks up past his scrawny size.
Power: Ruben Tejada's power is truly absent. In his 3 year career, his ISO's have been .083, .066, and .088. However, there is nowhere to go but up. Tejada is rather scrawny as mentioned and could stand to gain another 20 pounds in the weight room. This should be a great deal of help to Ruben, who already has a decent amount of power to the pull side. This power is caused by Ruben's very nice natural bat speed. Tejada will probably receive more doubles the other way as well as more homers to left if he can bulk up a bit, and some of it will come with age. A 15 homer hitter at best in the majors. I'd expect around 8-12 a year.
Speed: Tejada was and is one of the fastest members of the Mets' farm system, which may seem confusing considering that he's only stolen 24 bases over 3 years of pro ball. Tejada's speed is evident in his range in the field, but rather absent in his baserunning numbers. His lack of stolen bases or even triples for that matter is because going into this year Tejada was a butcher on the basepaths. He got terrible jumps for stealing (explaining last year's horrible 8-for-13 in the stolen base department) and got terrible rounds around the bases (which explains the low triple numbers as well as some of the low ISO). Tejada has speed to steal 40 bases a year, and is starting to show it off. In his last 10 games Tejada has been 5-for-5 in base stealing, and is 14-for-16 this year in AA.
Fielding: Tejada is a very good fielder. It's pretty easy to explain as well. He has an above average arm for a shortstop and wonderful reactions and range for one as well. I can't imagine the move to second base will be too hard.
Plate Discipline: Tejada is the owner of an MLB average walk rate, which is pretty impressive for a kid in way over his head. It might improve to the levels of his Rookie League year as he matures, it might not. The great aspect of his discipline is his really low K-rate. Because of it, his BB/K rate is a very good 0.63.
Overall: A B- prospect at this point. I have him as the #7 prospect in the Mets system. Should have a good amount of .300/.370/.430 seasons if he pans out, and could have an outstanding prime.
Clip -- at the 0:55 mark Tejada exhibits some of his pull-side power with a Homer off of a low pitch by Madison Bumgarner.
Clip -- throughout the video you'll see 4 of Tejada's hits. He's the open stanced righty hitter.