Peter Bourjos: LA Angels Speedster Shocks Miguel Tejada with Bold Baserunning

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2011

Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is showcasing talents that have teammates and opposing players awestruck by his abilities.
Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is showcasing talents that have teammates and opposing players awestruck by his abilities.Harry How/Getty Images

The game of baseball can be truly amazing to watch at times—especially when one rookie player completely stuns a veteran so much that he forces an error.

That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday afternoon in an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Angels and the defending champion San Francisco Giants in Tempe, Arizona.

Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos forced 14-year veteran Miguel Tejada into making an error with sheer boldness.

Bourjos started the bottom of the fourth inning by laying down a beauty of a bunt to reach on a single. The next batter, Erick Aybar, blooped a double into right field. As the relay throw came in to the shortstop Tejada, Bourjos was already rounding third base with no signs of stopping.

Stunned, Tejada turned to throw but then literally threw the ball directly into the ground, the ball rolling harmlessly toward the first-base dugout as Bourjos crossed the plate.

Speed kills.

Angels fans have known for a while now just how fast Bourjos can be. However now, the rest of the baseball world is seeing how Bourjos and his blazing speed can affect the outcome of any play, offensively or defensively.

Speed can be an amazing thing to watch in baseball. Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson redefined the art of baserunning during his career, shattering every record in the books.

Just two seasons ago, the baseball world watched as Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury successfully attempted a straight steal of home plate during a game against the New York Yankees on national television. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada never had a chance.

Peter Bourjos possesses that kind of speed.

Teammate and right fielder Torii Hunter is awestruck at what Bourjos is capable of as well.

"He's a freak of nature," Hunter told MLB.com.

"He does things normal guys just can't do. Me and Vernon (Wells) are here to help him become as good as he can be. The sky's the limit."

Not only does Bourjos possess incredible speed, with the ability to get to any ball in any part of center field, he has a bit of pop in his bat as well. Last season, in 181 at-bats, Bourjos hit six home runs, which would project to about 20 in a full major-league season.

As spring training moves to a close, Bourjos is finding his comfort level at the plate as well. 

"I feel like I'm having good at-bats," he said. "I'm walking, stealing some bases. I've gotten a few good bunts down. As I'm getting more comfortable, I'm getting to know the pitchers better."

If Bourjos continues on this path, the Angels will have found the leadoff hitter they’ve been searching for since the departure of Chone Figgins, and both Wells and Hunter can just sit back and continue to watch the development of a very special player.

 

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