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June 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Tejeda searching for a plan

21-year-old second baseman Oscar Tejeda has all of the tools to become a productive hitter at the major league level. Producing excellent bat speed thanks to quick wrists, the ball comes off his bat with solid backspin to all fields when he barrels pitches up. Tejeda has been filling out the last couple of years and begun developing power, and can project to hit for average-to-better power down the line as he continues to mature as a hitter. The big key for Tejeda to take the next steps in his development at Double-A rests in learning to bring a plan to the plate. Let’s take a look at his four plate appearances on June 9.

2nd Inning: Flyout to center field, 5 pitches
5th Inning: Chopper to second base, 5 pitches
7th Inning: Strikeout swinging, 3 pitches
9th Inning: Groundout to shortstop, 4 pitches

With the exception of his first plate appearance, when the opposing pitcher fell behind 3-0 with fastballs very wide of the strike zone, Tejeda was ultra-aggressive early in the count, gearing up to swing regardless of the location of the offering. He especially lacked control of the strike zone in his third plate appearance, seeing three fastballs elevated above the belt, and swinging through all three of them. Tejeda also had trouble keeping his hands back during his stride, and hit too far out in front of the ball as a result of transferring his weight too quickly. The weak contact he produced when putting the ball into play was directly tied to this, along with the aforementioned expansion of his hitting zone.

Young and still raw offensively, Tejeda has some good development in front of him to round into a major league hitter. As he learns how to slow himself down at the plate and become more selective, along with bringing an idea of how he is going to work his plate appearances, a solid stretch of positive results should follow. Until then, expect Tejeda to continue to be inconsistent as his approach is pushed to improve.