PP Scouting Report: SS, Ferdin Tejeda

Just about one year ago, Ferdin Tejeda was considered one of the better prospects in the Yankee Farm System, but in less than half a season, he was suddenly a fading prospect and was soon out of the organization. However, after being waived by the Padres, the 22 year old shortstop was recently claimed by the Yankees.

Vital Statistics
Name: Ferdin Tejeda
Position: Shortstop
DOB: September 15, 1982
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 178
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

A little extra depth can never hurt at any position especially shortstop, but who would have thought the Yankees would look to get this depth from a guy that they had apparently given up on. Going into the 2005 season, the Yankees have been pondering their options for their opening day shortstop for their AA Trenton Thunder affiliate. However, there wasn't a clear cut option from within the organization. As it turns out, their best option would be Ferdin Tejeda. Tejeda was actually the opening day shortstop in Trenton last season but really fell flat, despite the fact that many have said that the organization tried to push him too high, too fast.

The Yankees were sky high on Ferdin Tejeda after he put together a fantastic 2001season in the Dominican Summer League and they were buzzing about the 19 year old shortstop's arrival on U.S. soil in 2002. Ferdin did not disappoint as he again proved that he did have a bat to go along with his great glove at shortstop. Tejeda hit a combined .282 between the Gulf Coast League and with the Staten Island Yankees. Then, in 2003, his stock jumped up even more when he started to show some potential for extra base hits and a little more run production. He played mostly with the Tampa Yankees where he batted .295 with 20 RBI. However, the monkey was still not off his back. Tejeda had still not hit one out of the park since arriving in the United States.

After the regular season was over, the Yankees still believed that they had a gem on their hands and immediately sent Tejeda to the Arizona Fall League, also known as the prospect finishing school. But, again, it looked like the Yankees may have expected too much from Ferdin. He struggled badly with the bat for the first time in his professional career, hitting just .242 with one double, no homers, and 5 RBIs in 66 at-bats. Also, the most important thing to remember is that it was the first time that he was facing some stronger competition made up of a lot of AA or higher talent. However, to put a positive twist on his Arizona Fall League stint, he was arguably the best defensive shortstop there. Even after a rough stint there, the Yankees were still high on Tejeda and tapped him as the Opening Day shortstop for the Trenton Thunder in 2004. Needless to say, things went terribly for Tejeda as he batted below .200 and was soon demoted to High A Tampa. But, his struggles continued there as well. Then, on August 9th, the Yankees needed a space on the 40 man roster and Tejeda was the one to be sent packing. The Yankees placed him on waivers and he was claimed by the San Diego Padres. He finished out the season with some mildly better results with their High A Lake Elsinore affiliate, but overall it was a lost season at the plate for Ferdin Tejeda. Then, leading up to the present in Tejeda's career, he was waived by the Padres and ended up, once again with the Yankees. He will get a chance to revive his career considering he is still only 22 years old and because the Yankees still think very highly of him despite his 2004 struggles.














2004 Lake Elsinore .257 35 0 0 4 6 1 8 8 .395 .257
2004 Tampa .236 174 7 0 15 21 3 13 32 .293 .276
2004 Trenton .174 86 1 0 3 8 3 6 19 .228 .186
2003 Rafters (AFL) .242 66 1 0 5 4 2 2 14 .265 .258
2003 Tampa .295 217 9 0 20 33 4 6 38 .320 .382
2003 GCL Yankees .393 28 2 0 3 4 1 2 4 .433 .464
2002 Staten Island .276 181 7 0 18 29 11 11 33 .316 .337
2002 GCL Yankees .300 60 3 0 2 13 3 10 9 .394 .350
2001 DSL Yankees .330 188 7 1 19 41 13 26 30 .411 .457

Batting and Power. Well, scouts have said for a few years now that Ferdin Tejeda still has a high ceiling to be a hitter for a pretty solid batting average. That projection looked to be true in his first three seasons in the organization but it all came crashing down in 2004. It just looked like he was pressing and just wasn't ready for tougher AA pitching. And, that slump just carried over after he was demoted to High A ball and later waived and claimed by the Padres. It doesn't appear that Ferdin will ever be able to develop power considering he has not yet hit a home run on U.S. soil. But he still has a shot to be a good slap hitter that has the ability to put the ball in play. However, something he is going to need to improve upon is his patience and plate discipline. But, another thing to note is that as the season went on in 2004, his on-base percentage was on a steady rise. Throughout his career, Tejeda has been a second half player, which is something also very intriguing. Maybe, just maybe, the Yankees quit on his bat too early in the season in 2004. It is only a possibility to excuse his dismal overall season at the plate in 2004. Perhaps it is only more AA experience he needs to be successful. But, only time will tell what his bat produces in 2005.

Base running and Speed. Not only can Tejeda move around well in the field, but his wheels on the bases are also well above average. He is a rangy infielder and is quite athletic, but it appears he also has the ability to swipe a bag as well. However, last season, his woes at the plate seemed to eventually interfere with his base stealing production partially because he wasn't getting on base on any type of consistent basis. But, he still has the speed and given the chance, he does have a strong ability to steal bases on a consistent basis.

Defense. Here is the name of the game when it comes to Ferdin Tejeda. His glove has been the only thing keeping him afloat in professional baseball over the past season as his bat continually struggled. Considering all his troubles at the plate, appearing totally lost at times, Tejeda remained stellar in the field. He has extra soft hands, with above average range and a solid throwing arm. His hands and his range are what makes him special. Even if he can't turn himself around at the plate in 2005, it will be a pleasure to watch him put on a show at shortstop.

Projection. It is tough to count out Ferdin Tejeda just yet, partially because he was a guy the Yankees hated to lose in the first place. The organization still believes that he has a lot of potential even despite his 2004 offensive woes. What seems to be forgotten is that it was really his first bad offensive season at the plate since joining the Yankee organization. So, considering that he is still only 22 years old, he still has a chance to develop into a great defensive shortstop with a serviceable bat. That potential has not gone anywhere, and if he starts of the 2005 season slowly, it might be wise to have patience and see if he catches fire in the second half.

ETA. Late 2006. One of the main reasons that the Yankees claimed Ferdin Tejeda once again is that they are in a bind for a shortstop for the Trenton Thunder in 2005. With that being said, expect to see Tejeda playing there once again in 2005. If he progresses well, he could be in AAA Columbus for the 2006 season. Once again, if his progress is up to par, he has a chance of a September callup to the Bronx in 2006.

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