September 12, 2016
Featuring a long list of skills that could translate into a major league career one day. It’s understandable why coaches in the Toronto Blue Jays system are high on outfielder Juan Tejada.
With projectable size, strength, and speed; Tejada has the makeup of being a multi-tool player in professional baseball, if he can find consistency at the plate moving forward.
Finding that consistency has been the toughest part of the young outfielder’s career to date. Only managing a .185 average in 124 at-bats between the Vancouver Canadians and Lansing Lugnuts in 2016; Tejada is only hitting .217 for his career up to this stage of his minor league development.
His inconsistency at the plate has not affected Tejada’s confidence in his ability to be an effective hitter in the Blue Jays system for years to come.
“Every time I step into the batter’s box I see the ball really well,” explained Tejada. “I know my batting average is a little bit low. But I feel it’s more an issue with timing and I’m working on improving that every day. I’m very confident in my plate approach and I feel I’ll get better once I get my timing down.”
The power and speed components of being a multi-tool player are coming along nicely for Tejada. With 10 of his 23 hits being of the extra base variety and successfully swiping all three bags he attempted in 2016; Tejada showed promising ability in base running and hitting for power.
Impressed with the raw talent that Tejada showed in his brief stint in the Midwest League. Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach Donnie Murphy discusses what stood out the most about the 22-year old outfielder.
“Juan Tejada has a lot of tools,” stated Murphy. “Big guy, a lot of power, he just needs more at-bats. I’m still learning about him. But the tools are there. If he keeps working hard it’ll eventually show up for him.”
Known primarily for his solid defensive play in the outfield, Tejada maintained a .943 fielding percentage in 268 1/3 innings in the field. Logging the majority of his time in right, the prospect picked up two outfield assists with his strong arm.
Especially proud of his ability to cut potential base runners down, Tejada discusses how he uses his arm strength to his advantage.
“I work on my throwing a lot,” said Tejada. “It’s a real advantage for me, especially when runners are quick on the base paths.”
Tejada still has a lot of work to do to fully utilize all of his skills moving forward. But if the prospect sticks with the same mindset and work ethic that’s got him this far in his career, even more success in the sport shouldn’t be too far away.
Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays certainly hope that Juan Tejada can realize his full potential as a member of their minor league system.