Conor’s Top Red Sox Prospects: #18
By Conor Duffy
We now reach #18 as I count down from the Red Sox’ top 20 prospects, and we arrive at… Oscar Tejeda! Tejeda has an excellent skill set and could develop into a five-tool player before too long. He’s already demonstrated three or four of those since converting to the outfield. He had played second base and shortstop his entire career, but was below average and this year, the Red Sox have made him an outfielder.There he can take full advantage of his above average speed and arm that scouts have been drooling over.
They say that the toughest jump in the minor leagues is to double-A, and Tejeda showed it with a rough season last year. He batted just .249 with 5 home runs and 13 stolen bases in his first year there at just age 21. This year, he has matured more though, and he’s been hitting fairly well to a tune of .279/.313/.414 as a 22 year old in double-A Portland. He’s hit three home runs (tied for 3rd on the team) and driven in 20 runs (2nd on the team). Perhaps his best skill, however, is at hitting doubles– as he has 10 doubles in 140 at bats this year, good for 7% of the time– better than many hitters’ walk rates. SoxProspects (his page is here) says that he has below average plate discipline, but hits the ball very hard when he puts it in play. They also say that he has adjusted well to the outfield, as he reads balls well off the bat and has a great arm.
Tejeda is only 22 and in the long run, the move to the outfield will be probably be for the best. At second base he is blocked by Dustin Pedroia— one of the best in the game– and at shortstop, Jose Iglesias is expected to a fixture before long. He’ll probably be a bottom-of-the-order type hitter, as he doesn’t have great plate discipline but should be in a starting lineup. Tejeda will probably be a decent major league player who could drive in a run here and there and take on a utility type role. Chances are that he’ll spend this year in Portland and next year in triple-A Pawtucket, so we could see him when he is 24 in 2014.