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Reyes' successor a Jeter fan ... and steady

4/24/2012

With Jose Reyes returning to Flushing, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick profiles his successor at shortstop for the Mets, Ruben Tejada.

Ruben Tejada

Ruben Tejada

#11 SS
New York Mets

2012 STATS

  • GM15
  • HR0

  • RBI7

  • R7

  • OBP.344

  • AVG.263

Tejada tells Crasnick he grew up revering Derek Jeter, because Yankees games were shown in his native Panama, as well as slick-fielding Omar Vizquel. Writes Crasnick:

He banged out four hits against Atlanta in the third game of the season, and drove in three runs and scored the game-winner on a Buster Posey throwing error in a 5-4 victory over San Francisco on Saturday. Tejada shares the league lead with seven doubles, and he has shown admirable patience and a knack for making pitchers work.

Tejada is tied for 11th in the NL with an average of 4.18 pitches per plate appearance, and according to ESPN Stats & Information, he's third in the majors with 15 full counts this season. He's hitting .454 (5-for-11) with four walks when the count is 3-2. With his penchant for eyeballing pitches just off the corner, his approach is more reminiscent of, say, Edgardo Alfonzo than Jose Reyes.

Along with an evolving bat, Tejada has a steady glove and a steadier disposition. His demeanor is the same whether he's taking ground balls at 5 o'clock or fielding an in-between hop in the ninth inning with the tying run on third base and 40,000 people in the stands.

Read the full feature here.