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Miguel Tejada looks nothing like Cal Ripken physically, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving. In 2006, he seemed to change his approach to hitting and hit more line drives, more ground balls and fewer fly balls. The result was exactly what you would expect, a career high batting average of .330 accompanied by a loss of power. At age 30, he still provides an exceptionally valuable package- average defence at short, durability and a .330/.379/.498 line. Durability, of course, understates his record; he hasn't missed a game in six years. Miguel, take my advice, people over 30 need a day off every once in awhile.

Tejada was signed by the Oakland Athletics as an amateur free agent in 1993 at age 17, and spent two summers in the Dominican League. The A's moved him to Low A ball in 1995, where he hit .245 with medium range power and very good plate discipline. He stole 19 bases in 21 tries over 74 games. The following year, he was moved up to High A, where he hit .279 with 20 homers. His plate discipline was not quite as good as the year before, but still good enough. In 1997, he basically repeated the same season as the year before (this time going .275/.344/.458), but at double A Huntsville. He earned a late year cup of coffee with the big club; he hit .200/.240/.333 in 96 at-bats, and one would think that he would have earned a ticket to triple A in 1998. It didn't work out that way. The A's had the following options at shortstop in 1997- a 23 year old Tony Batista, a 31 year old Rafael Bournigal, a 30 year old Scott Brosius and Tejada. When they lost Batista in the expansion draft to the Diamondbacks and acquired Kurt Abbott to join Bournigal as their shortstop options for 1998, it was inevitable that Tejada would be recalled for good earlier than would have been desirable. And so it was. Abbott and Bournigal played like they always had the first 7 weeks of 1998, while Tejada hit .327 with pop in double A. Tejada got the call for good in late May, a little before he was ready. He hit .233 with some power, 28 walks and 86 strikeouts. He took a step forward in 1999, hitting .251 with a little more power and better plate discipline, and one more step in 2000, improving incrementally in all departments. From 2000-2003, he was a mainstay of the A's, hitting .280 with 30 homers a year and anchoring the defence. He left the A's as a free agent and moved on to Baltimore in 2004, where he has overall improved modestly on his performance.

Finding comparable players to Tejada is not easy. The top 5 middle infielders on's list of age-base comparables are Vern Stephens, Cal Ripken, Bobby Doerr, Ryne Sandberg, and Alan Trammell. Here is how they stack up, through age 30:

Tejada 5539 240 421 777 .286 .342 .480 64 24 114
Stephens 5481 224 598 565 .290 .360 .474 21 17 124
Ripken 6305 259 688 747 .279 .349 .467 28 24 126
Doerr 5564 165 610 500 .285 .357 .452 47 57 114
Sandberg 5508 179 464 786 .287 .342 .452 275 76 114
Trammell 5694 133 594 612 .290 .356 .424 177 84 114

Stephens' statistics are a bit overstated, as some of his best numbers were posted in the wartime years. By age 30, he had moved to third base and his career was cut short by injuries. Doerr missed a year for the war, but put up good numbers in two other war years.

Assuming typical decline in his 30s, will Tejada go into the Hall of Fame? Should he? The answer to the first question seems pretty clear. I cannot imagine the voters not summoning a capable shortstop who hits 350-400 homers over his career. He may not be an automatic selection as Cal Ripken is, but as long as he can put in another 3 or 4 reasonably good years, he will in my view make it. The second question is much more interesting. So far, he has been about as good as Sandberg and Trammell. In my view, he is a little behind Trammell right now, with Trammell's edge in speed and in the OBP component of OPS worth a very slight edge. Sandberg is a tougher comparison, for they are very similar hitters. Sandberg was an excellent defensive second baseman and perhaps had more defensive value than Tejada and also had more speed. How about we say that he is generally on a Hall of Fame course, and wait a few years to try to firm things up a bit? He is, after all, only 30.
Hall Watch 2006- Miguel Tejada | 3 comments | Create New Account
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Mick Doherty - Friday, November 10 2006 @ 09:55 AM EST (#157726) #

He is, after all, only 30.

File this under "most surprising statements about Tejada." I would have guessed 34-35-36, something in that range. He probably has time to move to 3B and crack 400+ homers in a real Ripkenesque way, then.

That makes the answer to "should he?" a resounding "yes." But then, so should Trammell!

Asfan123go - Monday, November 23 2009 @ 08:21 PM EST (#208631) #

Migguel tejada now at end of 2009

12 full seasons 98-09 and 26 games in 97 call up

Avg .289  / OBP. 341 /   OPS .810 /  OPS+ 112

7320 atbat  / 1116 runs /  2114 hits /  421 doubles

285Hrs / 1185 RBI

1200DPs made 5500+ ast

2 Doubles titles 1 MLB 1 NL

RBI title lead MLB

1 MVP in AL

1 of 3 shortstops to ever have 5 seasons in a row 100+RBIs

Passed banks for 3rd most HRs by a shortstop at 278

5th longest games played streak at 1152

10x30+doubles hi 40-42-46-50

4x20+ Hrs 4x30+Hrs


5x 300+ AVG

177 or more hits 7 of 12 years hi 177,179,199,199,3x200+

6xAS / AS MVP / 2xSS I think if from here he fattens totals HOF one day 



Hall Watch 2006- Miguel Tejada | 3 comments | Create New Account
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