Mets360 2013 projections: Ruben Tejada

Next up in our projection series is Ruben Tejada. This time last year there were all kinds of doubt and angst surrounding Tejada. The doubt mostly came over concerns how he would do replacing fan favorite Jose Reyes. The angst came largely due to his manager throwing a tantrum that Tejada did not report to camp early. A year later there seems to be a complete absence of both doubt and angst. Tejada did a credible job replacing Reyes and he showed up early to camp.

It was fun watching Tejada play last year, especially with his propensity to deli ver line drive hits. Line drives are the batted ball type that results in hits most often. According to Baseball-Reference, the BABIP on line drives last year in the National League was .707, compared to .238 for ground balls and .135 for fly balls. Tejada’s rates were .745/.239/.137, respectively in these categories.

Tejada was essentially average with his ground balls and fly balls and above-average with his success in turning line drives into hits. Tejada had an ultra-high 30.0 LD% last year, according to FanGraphs. That would have been the highest mark in MLB if he had enough PA to qualify. Unfortunately, LD% has one of the weakest year-to-year correlations around.

Bill Petti at Beyond the Box Score found LD% had a .22 year-to-year correlation, the worst of 28 hitting metrics he examined. We can all cite players whose batting average fluctuates greatly from year to year – check out David Wright’s last four years for an example if you can’t think of one off the top of your head. Anyway, batting average has a year-to-year correlation of .41 – nearly twice that of LD%.

Since so much of Tejada’s value is tied up in his ability to deliver line drives, it’s okay if you still carry doubts about him. Here’s what our group thinks Tejada will do this year:

Tejada Projection PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBIs LD%
Gray 510 .287 .340 .355 1 30 25
Hangley 550 .281 .340 .403 4 45 26.1
Joura 625 .275 .335 .345 2 40 24.5
Koehler 550 .285 .350 .345 2 30 30
Manner 600 .275 .340 .360 3 30 25
Mcwilliam 520 .272 .339 .362 5 48 25.5
Parker 550 .285 .340 .350 2 40 25
Rogan 615 .290 .355 .350 4 50 30
Rogers 490 .290 .340 .350 1 45 25
Stack 601 .301 .366 .399 4 50 28
Stashin 579 .286 .349 .377 4 40 24
Vasile 600 .290 .350 .365 1 45 28
Walendin 550 .308 .350 .380 2 48 28.8

Any LD% over 20 is really good. Not one of us thinks he’ll fall below 24%, which is kind of amazing. The other thing that stands out to me is that no one predicted Tejada would finish with a ton of PA. Since he’s likely to hit either first or second in the order – and Terry Collins has not given his players a ton of days off in his two years leading the Mets – it must mean that we all see a visit to the DL in Tejada’s future this year.

Here’s what the group thinks Tejada will do in 2013:

Finally, let’s close with a table comparing the Mets360 numbers to those of the other projection systems available on FanGraphs.

Tejada Projection PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBIs
Bill James 463 .277 .338 .347 2 33
Mets360 565 .286 .340 .360 3 42
Oliver 544 .267 .327 .352 5 47
Steamer 607 .257 .319 .336 4 42
ZiPS 610 .272 .328 .341 2 40

We see Tejada hitting for a higher average than the projection systems, but otherwise the numbers are right in line with what the models see him doing. The James model has him way short on playing time while the Oliver projection sees Tejada ripping five homers this year. As Mets fans, we should gladly trade HR for LD%.

Check back on Thursday for our next entry in the series.

8 comments for “Mets360 2013 projections: Ruben Tejada

  1. steevy
    February 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    OBP,OBP,OBP.Ruben needs to get on base.He also needs to play a full season.

  2. February 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I reduced the number of PAs I gave him because I’m not sure he’ll bat leadoff or No. 2. If Sandy signs Bourn, Murphy could bat second and Tejada could move to the bottom of the lineup.

  3. Name
    February 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Looks like we have two camps on Tejada’s power. There are 7 in Camp A saying 1/2 HR’s and 5 in Camp B saying power surge of 4/5 HR’s. And then you have Manner who surpringsly is the only one who picked 3 HR’s.

    I think i’m going with Camp A. I’d say Tejada is one of the top candidates in the NL to be homerless in 2013

  4. HarryDoyle
    February 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Tejada’s a tricky projection. If he bats leadoff, I think his OBP will be around .330. If he bats 8th, which is where I hope Collins puts him regardless of whether or not they have Bourn, I think he’ll be around .350.

  5. Metsense
    February 11, 2013 at 6:44 am

    NL Avg: 16HR, 61 RBI, .697 OPS
    Tejada: 1HR, 25 RBI, .685 OPS 1.2 UZR

    Rubin Tejada was slightly below average last year. I have been on the Tejada bandwagon from the beginning. I expected him to be slightly above average in 2012 so I was slightly disappointed . He will never be a power hitter so he will have to improve his batting average ,BB pct and doubles to increase his OPS to above average. I expect him to be above average this year. Therefore I think his OBP will go up 10 more points then even the lofty consensus projection.Hopefully he will continue to improve.Oh, and did I forget to mention he is only 23 YOA.

  6. February 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I predicted Tejada would go beast mode and hit five homers this season. He could be the next Chone Figgins or David Eckstein in the power department. 😀

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