Everybody loves a pure hitter and Rowdy Tellez fits the description.
Name: Rowdy Tellez Position: 1B/DH Age: 21 Height: 6’4″ Weight: 220 lbs Throws: Left Bats: Left Acquired: Drafted in the 30th round, 2013.
Don’t let the draft position fool you, he can play. Projected as an early pick, his commitment to the University of South California seemed like a sure thing. Due to this, nobody was lining up for a chance to get a voicemail on draft day. Eventually the Blue Jays took a gamble, and it paid off. The gamble may have left them paying a 30th round pick $850,000, but seems to be well worth it thus far.
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The most impressive tool Tellez has is his power. 23 HR’s in AA may not seem like a lot, but for a 21-year-old in AA, it is a great accomplishment. AA is often considered “the first real level of baseball” to scouts, as before that a lot of guys sneak in who throw hard but can’t hit the strike zone. Defense also seems to be significantly better. The Midwest league (A) averaged 154 errors per team, compared to 119 per team in the Eastern League (AA). It is one of the first levels of the minor leagues that everyone seemingly can hit a ball into their affiliated major league stadium if they just swing hard enough.
Tellez is certainly swinging hard enough, the weaknesses with him lie in where he plays. If he is just a DH, it will hurt his value. Assuming he is a 1B and can be average defensively, his bat will play a lot better. Either way he seems to be a lock to at least get a chance to showcase at the Major-League level.
As you can see he really uses his lower half, something scouts have always liked about him.
Rumors have it that he struggles at times with the fastball, but it seems to be that he is hunting the off-speed. While he certainly needs to improve on that, he already is showing signs of being a good hitter. We can expect to get a glimpse of him in spring training, with the potential for a mid-year call up depending on how Justin Smoak fares. Tellez has also been a topic of trade talk in the past, so a trade may be possible as well to get immediate help at the Major-League level. No matter where he ends up, looks to at the low end be a bench bat with a high likelihood of playing every day.