Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Crystal Ball: Miguel Tejada

Let’s face it. Now that he’s past 30, Miguel Tejada’s days of hitting 30+ HR are probably behind him.

Still, the All-Star shortstop is the Orioles best offensive player. A batting average of .330 with 24 HR and 100 RBI are Jeterian numbers; only from an offensive force like Tejada would these numbers be slightly disappointing.

Tejada OPSed .878, good for fourth among major league shortstops, behind Bill Hall, Derek Jeter and Carlos Guillen. By whatever metric you use, Tejada is still comfortably in the top 10 of defensive shortstops in the majors; none of the above shortstops can boast this (Jeter’s bogus Gold Glove notwithstanding).

He’ll only be 31 this season, so I expect more of the same. He still has a couple of years before a decline begins in a typical ballplayer. In the 2007 Bill James Handbook, the hitter projections for Tejada look like this:

Miguel Tejada .304 .360 .495 .856 27 97 112

I think any Baltimore fan will take that next year.

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