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Tejeda is a bullpen arm with some promise

Tejeda is a bullpen arm with some promise
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The minor leagues may be considered a place for adjustments and learning from mistakes but so far, Enosil Tejeda has mostly seen success.

Tejeda, a 24-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic, has been one of the double-A Akron Aeros’ most reliable bullpen arms since his promotion from high-A Carolina in May. He signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and has quietly surfaced as one of the organization’s more intriguing relief arms.

Tejeda began his career with the Dominican Summer League Indians, where he pitched as a starter posting a 7-3 record and 1.76 ERA through 12 games. The following season, Tejeda was shifted to the bullpen as he spent the year with the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Last year, he started the season back in Mahoning Valley before he was promoted to the low-A Lake County Captains where he spent the remainder of the season and received the opportunity to experience a playoff setting.

“It was my first time in any playoffs,” Tejeda recalled. He was a vital part of the Captains’ bullpen as he appeared in 18 games and posted a 1.18 ERA in 22 innings of work. He said the experience was helpful and left him feeling good leading into the offseason, where he focused on lifting and strength.

Tejeda has more than mere physical strength now as he feels his biggest attribute this season is his fastball. The pitch generally sits at 88-89 miles per hour, but his ability to locate it gives him an edge over his opponents.

Accuracy has not been Tejeda’s Achilles, as he’s walked just 16 batters this season in comparison to 50 strikeouts, part of his 210:56 lifetime strikeout-to-walk ratio. Tejeda spent last season working on his change-up, a pitch he’s needed to retire hitters at the double-A level.

“The hitter is so much better here,” he noted.

Tejeda said he expected to reach Akron at some point this season and feels he’s pitching up to his own personal expectations. Aeros’ manager Edwin Rodriguez agrees.

“He’s been outstanding for us,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a strike thrower and he only throws 88-89, but he has some deception on his fastball.”

Rodriguez explained that Tejeda’s fastball jumps on hitters quicker than anticipated, which helps him get ahead.

“It’s what we call sneaky fast,” he said. “He doesn’t hide the ball, it just gets to the hitter in a hurry. It seems like he’s always ahead in the count.”

Now, Tejeda is looking to get ahead in another city. His goal through the remainder of the season is to reach the next level. “Columbus,” he said simply.

Advancing through the ranks hasn’t been an issue for Tejeda as he’s moved up at least one level every year. He’s maintained an ERA below 2.00 during three of his four professional seasons and has not allowed a home run since 2010, his first year in the Cleveland Indians’ system.

As the Eastern League All-Star break approaches, Tejeda will receive some time to relax. He may take a few days off, but with a formidable fastball and determination to advance, his success is nonstop.

Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.

User Comments

Jim
July 9, 2013 - 7:57 AM EDT
I agree on Tejeda. People sometimes...a lot of times...overrate velocity when they don't take health or performance onto account.
Rich
July 9, 2013 - 7:36 AM EDT
19 innings at Akron, 8 hits allowed, 20 K's, and a 1.40 ERA. So far, so good. Time to give him a shot at Columbus. The guy is 24 years old, let's move him along.

He's way outperforming the much more hyped Trey Haley and his triple-digit fastball.

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