Tejada Fitting in San Diego

When the Padres acquired Miguel Tejada, they were likely looking for little more than a stopgap until David Eckstein returned from injury and some added depth for their bench. Instead, they’ve received one of the most productive players since the trading deadline. Tejada had put up a solid (and PETCO deflated) .263/.314/.426 line entering last night’s game. In said game, Tejada once again came up large for San Diego, homering and posting +.240 WPA as part of a 3-4 night.

That slash line above might not look that impressive, but we have to remember that this is PETCO Park we’re talking about here. According to StatCorner, the park suppresses wOBA by about 8% for right handed hitters, a number which is supported by Baseball-Reference’s multi-year park factor.

As Dave mentioned earlier this month, when a park strongly effects the run environment, it inherently changes the value of a run to a team.

That makes each individual run less valuable in helping a team win. If the Rockies need to score six runs at home in order to win, a home run – which has a league average run value of 1.4 runs – by Gonzalez gets them 23.3 percent of the way there. The Padres, for instance, only need to score four runs in order to win at home, so a home run at Petco by Adrian Gonzalez, worth the same 1.4 runs, gets them 35 percent of the way to their needed total. A run in San Diego, or anywhere really, is worth more than a run in Colorado because of the run environment.

That quote is remarkably convenient to our discussion here. Unadjusted, Tejada’s offensive line is just slightly above average. But a team that is playing in PETCO Park and scoring the league average amount of runs per game – like, say, the 2010 Padres – is likely to win a significant amount of games. With the park adjustment, Tejada has a 112 wRC+, equaling his mark last season as well as some of his early years with the Athletics. Throw in that Tejada is doing that at the shortstop position without negatively impacting the team in the field, and he’s a player that’s provided 1.5 WAR in a mere 204 plate appearances with the club. Tejada has played like an All-Star for San Diego down the stretch, and given their precarious and ever-changing position at the top of the National League West race, that makes him one of the most important deadline acquisitions of the season.

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14 Responses to “Tejada Fitting in San Diego”

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  1. adohaj says:

    Increased by 8% .284/.339/.460 All star?…I guess if the fans really like him

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  2. The Duder says:

    “Throw in that Tejada is doing that at the shortstop position without negatively impacting the team in the field”

    Tejada has been a below average fielder his entire career, but now that he’s 94 years old, he’s now elevated his fielding to average?

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    • Travis L says:

      Small Sample Size.

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    • Deelron says:

      Not at all, merely that his time in SD it’s been average. There’s a difference between discussing what a player would likely do over a period of time (or what their capabilities likely are) and what they’ve actually done.

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    • Drakos says:

      I don’t know how much effect it has but I imagine that playing next to a 3rd baseman who is second in all of baseball in terms of DRS and UZR probably helps things.

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  3. phoenix says:

    hey, not that he is a good fielder, but derek jeter’s defense got surprisingly better with age. he never had much range so he didn’t lose much of that relatively speaking, but his throwing arm got better. a lot fewer throwing errors makes a big difference, and it’s understandable after making that throw to first about a million times in his career. while he is not really that much “better” as a fielder, he is more consistent, which is a perfect word to describe him throughout his career.

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  4. astrostl says:

    I still used ESPN’s year-by-year park factors, didn’t know that either SC (with handedness!) or B-R did it, thx for the pointers.

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  5. Michael says:

    I called this one. Tejeda is one of the more underrated but kinda sucky players in baseball. I also think he can still play SS fine.

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    • Griggs says:

      Amen Michael. I called it too. I actually thought he would be hitting a bit better than this and he is playing mostly SS like I thought he would. I don’t look very close at the newfangled defensive stats but my opinion has generally been that Tejada is a slightly above average glove at SS. In his younger days he was way above and now as old as he is, he is slightly below average. This has always gone against conventional wisdom but honestly I think that has been due to the offensive bias SS always seem to get. The bias that says SS that hit for power, have crappy gloves. Ripken wasn’t enough proof, so this bias continues. I guess Tejada is something of a flake which hasn’t helped his reputation but absolutely a very underrated player.

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  6. Kyle says:

    Actually Tejada could always field, but like Jeter would scrub it up. He’s not as bad as stats/azr/whatev say… I just wonder if he were on roids right now. Instead of 300 bombs, he’d have 400 already.

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  7. Matt says:

    Good timing on this piece. Tejada had two huge base hits tonight (+.524 WPA).

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  8. THE_SLASHER14 says:

    What Tejada is, is a veteran who smells a shot at the ring he never quite won. Somebody (Hoyer?) figured out that he could still hit better than any other SS who was out there, and took a chance on him.

    Reminds me a little bit of the Cards picking up Cesar Cedeno for the stretch drive in 1985. (But only a little — Cedeno had a slash line of .241/.306/.336 in 220 ABs with Cincy when the Cards got him, after which he went .434/.463/.750 in 76 September ABs; Tejada has merely been good.) Like Tejada, Cedeno was considered washed up and in 1986, proceeded to prove that he indeed was. But he had one hot streak left in him, and it looks as if Tejada does, too.

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