As the season comes to an end, it is time to hand out the report cards for Blue Jays players and take a look at how they did this season.
Rowdy Tellez: C+
Why did he receive this grade?
Rowdy Tellez has had a very turbulent season. He went from being a late addition to the opening day roster to being sent down to the minors midseason, to also leading Blue Jays rookies in home runs for the year (barring a huge slugfest from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Cavan Biggio over the next few games).
Dubbed by some as the Blue Jays future 1st baseman, this season was a lot of learning for Tellez. Coming off a hot month in September the season prior, everyone was excited to see what Rowdy could with a full season under his belt.
The one thing Tellez has over some of his teammates is raw power; the ability to put the barrel to the ball and watch it fly out of the park with the slightest of ease. He is 4th on the Blue Jays in home runs (and has played fewer games than those ahead) of him but also currently sits 3rd in American League rookies when it comes to hitting dingers.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
He also has improved his hitting against left-handed pitching, batting .259 against southpaws. This was a real concern at the start of the season, but with the limited time he has faced against left-handers, he seems to be passing the test. The Blue Jays should look to expand their look on him next season, considering he had almost 2x the amount of exposure to right-handed pitchers over lefties.
Splitting time between 1B/DH is a good mix for Tellez, as it keeps his bat in the lineup almost every day but doesn’t wear him out during the dog days of summer.
What could he do to improve his grade for next season?
After the first few months, Tellez would hover around the .215-.230 AVG mark starting in June and wouldn’t leave that range for the rest of the year. While he does have raw power, he can’t seem to put the ball in play when he doesn’t make home run contact, which will have to change over time. This is probably one major factor why he was demoted to the Buffalo Bisons for almost a month this season.
Rowdy Tellez will also need to cut down on the number of strikeouts, just like most of the Blue Jays hitters. In 358 ABs, he would strike out 114 times, creating a 32% chance Tellez will strikeout every time he steps in the batter’s box. This will be another area he can improve upon for a better grade, but power hitters can be known to strikeout often. Weighing the pros and cons.
His defence could also improve at 1B, but given he is a prime candidate for the DH role, I cannot say I am too concerned.
Given this is his rookie campaign, there is a lot of learning that happened this season that could improve his batting line moving forward. If Rowdy can find a way to put the ball in play and also continue to hit home runs, he will be the Blue Jays 1B/DH player for the next few years.
This season was the first look at Rowdy Tellez, and next season could prove to be a stepping stone to something greater with this powerful 1st baseman.