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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Reyes' successor a Jeter fan ... and steady

By Adam Rubin

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

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.