No. 256 Miguel Tejada (Number 22 Shortstop)

Miguel Tejada was a modern-day iron man six straight years where he played 162 games or every game on the schedule. This was after two years of playing at least 159 games. Then he had a year he played “only” 133 games at shortstop. He was 33 years then, which is a time some players have troubles playing that many games in the middle of the infield where a lot of action takes place. He followed that with playing at least 155 games for three straight seasons.

Some might question if playing that many games in the field hurt his career. One thing is we already talked about 12 years which isn’t a bad career. Tejada did have a 16-year career and retired after playing in 2013 as a 39-year-old. So, he had quite a career.

Tejada came up as a 23-year-old, took a couple of seasons to adapt to the majors, then just played a ton of games every season. He was a shortstop who hit with power and form average. He didn’t draw a lot of walks hurting his on base percentage.

He was an exception who didn’t improve with age on drawing walks. In 2009 at age 35, he had 675 plate appearances and only 19 walks a terrible walk percentage. He hit .313, but his on base percentage was only .340. The year before 2008, he walked 24 times in 666 plate appearances. This looks at bit worse as he hit a solid but not great .283 which made his on base percentage .314 which I’m sure was below average. He never walked in 10 percent of his plate appearances. It was his only weakness as a hitter.

Tejada was more of a double hitter than a homerun hitter, but still ended up with 307 homers. In his prime he hit 30 homers four times in five years. The other year he hit 27. The first four of those years was in Oakland. He led the league in doubles twice. Once was in the season he drew 19 walks and was already 35. He hit 30 doubles or more in 10 out of 11 seasons and hit 40 or more 4 times.

Tejada wasn’t a big base stealer. However, he was a smart base stealer and base runner. In 2003 he attempted 10 steals and made it all 10 times.

As a fielder Tejada is shown as 46 runs below average for his career. However, most of that was in his first two years and the years he was 32 or younger. Otherwise, he was an average league fielding shortstop. With the way he hit that made him a great player.

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