Prospect Profile: Juan Tejeda

Juan Tejeda may not typically show the tools that scouts look for from a top prospect, but that hasn't slowed Tejeda yet as he has moved up the ladder in the Tigers organization, and despite the doubters, simply continues to hit the cover off the ball.

Juan Tejeda
Position: First Base Height: 6-2 Weight: 195
Born: 1/26/1982 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Tejeda was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1998, as a raw 16-year old, and made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League at age 17, posting a respectable .276/.342/.461 line. Tejeda followed up that first summer with what would become a pretty standard line for him, posting a .312/.356/.527 line. As Juan has progressed through the Tiger's system, he has remained under the radar, but also has remained one of the organizations most consistent minor league performers. With a career minor league line of .292/.361/.467 line in his 6 professional seasons, one would think Tejeda was widely regarded as a top prospect. However, that is not the case, as Tejeda is considered a marginal prospect at best. If his increased power output of 2004 continues, he'll quickly emerge as a top flight prospect.

Scouting Report
Most scouts walk away less than impressed with Tejeda's natural abilities, but his consistent performance continually leaves them scratching their collective heads. It is often felt that Tejeda has a bit of a slow bat, and will struggle to keep up with top-notch fastballs. To this point, fastballs have not proven to be a problem, as Juan continues to knock the ball around the park. Juan has a rather upright stance and appears un-athletic on the field. Despite his appearance, Tejeda turns on fastballs and adjusts well to breaking balls, taking them to all fields with power. As an overall offensive player, Tejeda's early career numbers compare favorably with current Tiger, Rondell White. While manning first base, Tejeda has worked diligently to improve his defensive skills. Despite his improvement, Juan remains plagued by a poor defensive reputation, and many feel his defensive struggles will keep him from seeing the Major Leagues. Tejeda has limited range, but makes routine plays with ease, and displays adequate footwork and soft hands.

Performance

Year

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

SLG%

OPS

2004

Erie

457

.289

29

23

92

102

51

.516

.878


Health Record
Juan has not experienced any significant injuries at this point in his career.

The Future
Tejeda is likely to make his move to AAA-Toledo this season, where he will split time between DH and first base with Chris Shelton. There is some slight chance the Tejeda could be forced to repeat AA with the presence of minor league veteran Mike Hessman, although that seems unlikely considering Juan's performance last season. With Carlos Pena in the midst of establishing himself at first for the Tigers, and a pure hitter like Chris Shelton both ahead of him, Tejeda appears to be blocked from the Major Leagues. At this point Juan's most likely value to the organization would be in trade to an organization that values performance over appearance and tools. Tejeda has a chance to become a very useful Major League player, and that could happen as soon as 2006 if he lands with another organization.


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