My player projections continue around the horn with…
Ruben Tejada, SS
Tejada enters the 2012 season with the biggest spikes to fill on the team. Even though there is no comparison, he will be compared to the departed Jose Reyes as the season goes on (usually following the comment, “I’m not comparing Tejada to Reyes, BUT…”).
Ruben showed the ability to be a solid line-drive hitter in 2011. He doesn’t hit for power, and when he did get into the habit of overswinging, he struggled. But he could be a nice contact hitter as his career progresses. His batting average could even scare.300 this year before the rigors of a full major league season at shortstop take their toll.
I’m not comparing Tejada to Reyes, BUT Ruben seemed a little tentative at short last year, and didn’t seem as polished as Reyes. For example, he looked much more comfortable turning the double play as a second baseman. As a result, he’ll have to prove himself in the field as well as at the plate.
Projection: .257, 1 HR, 41 RBI
FanGraphs: .274, 2 HR, 62 RBI
Next up: David Wright.