Two years ago, I wrote that the Blue Jays may have hit it big when they took Rowdy Tellez in the 30th round of the 2013 draft. So far, that suggestion looks solid. The 21-year-old first-base prospect logged an .801 OPS in A-ball last season, and this year he’s slashing .296/.384/.516 with Double-A New Hampshire.
Power is his calling card. Tellez has 50 extra-base hits as a Fisher Cat, and 20 of them have left the yard. When he really gets into one, they cross property lines. In our 2014 interview, Tellez told me he once hit a ball “over the fence, then a back yard, then a house, then over a cul de sac, and then into the next house across the street.”
He sees himself as more than a slugger. His minor-league numbers back that up, as does a left-handed stroke modeled after a pair of All-Stars’.
Tellez talked about his game — and the draft-snub chip that remains on his shoulder — prior to a recent game in Portland, Maine.
Tellez on what has changed since two years ago: “A lot is different. I’m two years older and hopefully a little wiser. Defensively, I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I was then. I’m a much more competent fielder. Everybody is confident in throwing the ball over to me and pitchers don’t worry about ground balls hit to me. Defense is what I’ve worked on the most. I’ve worked on it day in, day out.
“I’ve lost weight. I’m 245 now. The most I’ve been is probably about 275. That was around the time I signed out of high school.
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