Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Second Coming of Anderson Hernandez

The Mets have a long and storied history of tremendous fielders who couldn't get a hit if their life depended on it. Rey Ordonez. Rafael Santana. Anderson Hernandez. And now Ruben Tejada.

Tejada is a young and inexperienced player at the plate. At 21 years old it's amazing that he's even at the major league level playing every day. But we all know the reason why he's here. Necessity.

Tejada would not be in the majors if the Mets didn't have an injured Reyes to start the season and an abysmal Luis Castillo at second. Alex Cora was beyond awful so they released him and made Ruben Tejada the fixture at second base for the remainder of the season. Tejada has the fortune of being a versatile player at the right place and at the right time.

His glove is masterful. I openly admit there have been at least two games in which Ruben Tejada should have notched a save because he prevented hits and runs from happening that any of the Mets other options would have had no chance at stopping. The problem is Tejada has one major flaw. He can't hit worth a lick.

As a replacement for this year, it's worth having Tejada around. None of the other Mets second baseman could hit either so the fact that Tejada is currently batting a whopping .177 is overlooked. I keep hearing Gary Cohen talk about how he's hard to strikeout and makes good contact, but that's because pitchers don't care about striking him out because whenever he hits the ball he's an automatic out.

I'd like to think/hope that Tejada can develop into a major league hitter or at least be serviceable with an average around the .240 mark. But I don't think Tejada is built to be a major league hitter.

Only time will tell but like Anderson Hernandez and Rey Ordonez before him Mets management and Mets fans will soon grow tired of his amazing glove and demand some results at the plate. Tejada may have the rest of this season to enjoy his time in the spotlight, but come next spring he may find himself back in the minors struggling to earn his way back.

Prove us wrong Tejada. I hope you do.

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