Spring Cliche: Stealing More Bases: Ruben Tejada

According to Anthony DiComo via Twitter:

“Ruben Tejada said he worked with Reyes this winter on base stealing. He’d like to run more this year and hopefully stick at leadoff. #Mets”

It’s interesting to see Tejada working with former teammate Jose Reyes to improve his ability on the basepaths. Reyes certainly has the skills, having stolen as many as 78 in a season and having seven years of at least 30 (and six of at least 39).

Obviously expecting Tejada, who stole 4 bases in 2012, to come reasonably close to those lofty marks would be a mistake. That said, after the Mets failed pursuit of Michael Bourn there is an obvious need atop the order and Tejada is one of the few options to fill it (along with possibly Daniel Murphy or Collin Cowgill).

That said, there is the potential for stolen bases. Baseball America, who ranked Tejada as the Mets’ ninth best prospect prior to 2010, said the following:

“He has slightly above-average speed and the potential to steal 20-25 bases a season.”

You can see that the speed is still there, it’s just a matter of getting comfortable and putting it to use. Maybe Reyes could help, but time will tell.

Obviously, stealing 20+ bases would help his potential fantasy impact. That said, he hits for no power and is a career .271 hitter. It would help make him a late round flier as a middle infielder, but don’t confuse him with a good option. A few more stolen bases isn’t going to change things enough.

What are your thoughts of Tejada’s stolen base potential?  Do you think there is any chance he reaches 20?  Why or why not?

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