Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Signed as Free Agent: July 11, 2006
Debut: April 7, 2010
Career Statistics with New York: 383 G, .253/.321/.311, 2 HR, 95 RBI (As of May 20, 2014)
Ruben Tejada started the 2014 season as the starting shortstop for the New York Mets, though now he is sharing his playing time with Wilmer Flores.
Tejada joined the organization in 2006 at just 17 years of age. At the time, he was thought of as a highly valued shortstop whose future with the team was up for discussion with Jose Reyes in the mix.
When Tejada first was called up to the Mets, he spent 50 of his 78 games at second base, because Reyes still manned the other middle infield position. Tejada’s first season was underwhelming, to say the least, as he batted just .213. However, he was just 20 years old and had time to improve.
In 2011 he was again seen splitting time between second base and shortstop, and while he did improve, it was tough to pinpoint his ceiling.
Tejada’s two best seasons were 2011 and 2012, when he combined to play 210 games, bat .287 and knock in 61 RBI. But what good are those numbers for a below-average fielder with no speed?
Somehow the Mets decided to go with Tejada and Omar Quintanilla as their shortstops to start the 2013 season, which went unsurprisingly poorly. Tejada went on to bat .202 in 57 games in 2013.
Even more remarkably, the Mets came into 2014 with those same two guys set to play shortstop! Now, in 38 games so far this season, Tejada's average is below the Mendoza Line at .185.
Clearly, he is not the guy to fill the void left by Reyes, and the fact that he’s still playing in the majors at all is mind-boggling. Tejada is a below-average fielder who is slow and hits for neither power nor average.
Hopefully, the Mets find a fit at shortstop, because Tejada has proved time and time again that he is not the one.
All statistics in this article via Baseball-Reference.com and TheBaseballCube.com unless otherwise noted.