With the 2021 season coming to a close, we are going to look back at the year that was for members of the Texas Rangers. The season isn’t over yet, of course, but there are a number of players who are on the injured list or otherwise won’t be playing the rest of the way, so we can start by looking at those guys whose seasons are done, and once the season is over we can include guys who are still in action.
Today we are looking at infielder Anderson Tejeda.
Don’t remember Tejeda’s time in the majors this year? That’s understandable. The switch hitting shortstop was brought in from the Alternate Training Site on April 9 when Brock Holt was put on the injured list with a hamstring strain. Having gotten an opportunity in 2020, slashing .253/.273/.453 in 77 plate appearances, there seemed to be some hope from at least a few folks that he would be able to handle a major league role this year.
That didn’t happen. Tejeda started in four straight games from April 9-12, and was 1 for 13 with a walk and 8 Ks. The Rangers were shut out in three of those games and scored just four runs in the other, so Tejeda wasn’t the only problem in the lineup, but he looked pretty overmatched. Put back in the lineup on April 16, he struck out twice in three plate appearances.
The next day Holt was activated, Tejeda was sent back to the Alternate Training Site, and that was the last we saw of Anderson Tejeda in Arlington this year. Final line: .063/.118/.063.
Things did not get better from there. Tejeda started the year in AAA Round Rock and was miserable, slashing .152/.236/.273 with 47 Ks in 111 plate appearances before being demoted to Frisco. With the Roughriders, he slashed .200/.267/.400 with 82 Ks in 192 plate appearances. He finished out the season on a rehab assignment in the ACL, slashing .429/.467/.643 in four games there.
It was a nightmare season for Tejeda, and the Rangers are going to have a decision to make with him this offseason. He’s a quality defensive infielder, able to play shortstop, third base and second base well, and the power is legit, but his contact issues, which have always been a problem, spiraled out of control in 2021. 129 Ks between AA and AAA in 303 plate appearances is the type of thing that makes someone unplayable.
Tejeda is on his last option in 2022, and the Rangers may well feel that they cannot afford to devote a 40 man roster spot to Tejeda as an emergency UIF option who they hope can make a dramatic improvement in his contact in 2022, allowing them to justify keeping him on the active roster in 2023 when he would be out of options. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them try to run him through waivers and outright him at some point this winter.