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Texas' Tejeda terrific in big league debut

Rangers No. 7 prospect nets first MLB homer, steal, three RBIs
Anderson Tejeda, who blasted 45 homers in 400 Minor League games, hit his first long ball in The Show in his big league debut. (Ben Margot/AP)
August 6, 2020

For a prospect who hadn't played above the Class A Advanced level, Anderson Tejeda looked awfully comfortable against Major League competition Thursday. The seventh-ranked Rangers prospect made the most of his first big league game, recording a homer, a single and a stolen base in Texas' 6-4 loss in Oakland.

For a prospect who hadn't played above the Class A Advanced level, Anderson Tejeda looked awfully comfortable against Major League competition Thursday.

The seventh-ranked Rangers prospect made the most of his first big league game, recording a homer, a single and a stolen base in Texas' 6-4 loss in Oakland. Tejeda accounted for three RBIs and collected both his hits off A’s right-hander Mike Fiers.

“I felt really good,” Tejeda told MLB.com. “I felt really confident going out there. I’m thankful I got the opportunity. My mentality was to go up there with a positive attitude and look for a good pitch I could put the bat on.”

Texas fell into a five-run hole before the 22-year-old stepped to the plate in the fifth inning. Tejeda followed Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s one-out triple with a grounder through the right side to push the run across.

Kiner-Falefa lined a base hit into right field to lead off the seventh and Tejeda was able to capitalize again, reaching down to get to a changeup by Fiers and pull it over the fence in right.

Tejeda flew to left in his first at-bat in the third and missed an opportunity with the tying run on in the eighth, popping up to shortstop. It took just one game for Tejeda to catch the eye of a division rival's skipper.

“He's scary,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. “He can run. He can hit for power. There's a reason you bring a kid from A-ball to the big leagues. That's a pretty exciting prospect to have there. Thank goodness we held him down that last at-bat. We had our eye on him, and where it was at the bottom of the order with him up. There was nowhere to put him with the bases loaded, and Yusmeiro made a great pitch. He looks good, though."

The native of Bani, Dominican Republic, played the past two seasons with Down East in the Carolina League. He batted .259/.331/.439 with career highs in homers (19) and stolen bases (11) in 2018. Tejeda returned to the Wood Ducks the following year, but was limited to 43 games after he partially dislocated his left shoulder on a slide.

A natural shortstop with a 70-grade arm, Tejeda filled in at second base as Rougned Odor is sidelined with an oblique injury. Tejeda was recalled from the alternate training site Sunday.

“Everybody loves it when guys make their Major League debut,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com. “I knew this kid was going to bring some excitement because he has no fear. I knew you’re going to see a live bat, was hoping they were going to throw him strikes, and they did.”

In other action:

Royals 13, Cubs 2

Chicago's top prospect Nico Hoerner delivered an RBI single in the ninth to bring in the Cubs' second run. He ambushed a first-pitch sinker from Kevin McCarthy and sent it up the middle to plate Kyle Schwarber. The No. 56 overall prospect is hitting .235 this year. Kansas City outfielder Nick Heath collected his first big league hit in the third, lining an RBI double into right-center off Tyler Chatwood. Heath took third base on a double steal and scored on a groundout by Jorge Soler. Box score

D-backs 5, Astros 4

After debuting with two relief appearances, Brandon Bielak did not disappoint in his first big league start. Houston's No. 13 prospect tossed five scoreless frames, allowing two hits and three walks with a strikeout. His toughest challenge came in the third when two runners reached with one down. But with a strikeout of Kole Calhoun and a groundout by Starling Marte, Bielak escaped trouble. The right-hander finished the outing with a perfect fifth to lower his ERA to 0.87. Astros No. 29 prospect Blake Taylor yielded three hits and a walk while fanning one over 1 1/3 innings. He allowed two inherited runners to score in the sixth but still sports a 0.00 ERA. No. 17 Arizona prospect Andy Young drove in a run with a groundout in the sixth and drew two walks. Box score

Brewers 8, White Sox 3

Chicago's No. 21 prospect Danny Mendick followed up a 3-for-3 night with a single in his first at-bat. Mendick is hitting .263 in 19 at-bats this season. No. 30 Matt Foster yielded a hit but struck out the other two batters to face him in the fifth. No. 20 Ian Hamilton worked around a hit and a walk with two strikeouts in a scoreless frame. Box score

Marlins 8, Orioles 7

Monte Harrison notched his first hit in his ninth big league at-bat. Miami's No. 10 prospect worked the count full and legged out an infield single with two outs in the sixth and then swiped second for his first big league stolen base. Harrison batted .245/.333/.400 with 61 homers and 138 stolen bases over six seasons in the Minor Leagues. Box score

Angels 6, Mariners 1

Seattle's No. 22 prospect Joey Gerber kept his ERA spotless with 1 1/3 clean innings. The 23-year-old put a stop to the Angels' rally in the fourth and worked around a hit batsmen in a scoreless fifth. Gerber posted a 2.59 ERA over 48 2/3 innings across two levels last season. Box score

Indians 13, Reds 0

Pinch-hitting in the seventh, Cleveland's No. 26 prospect Yu Chang drew a free pass against southpaw Cody Reed. Chang worked the count full and took the walk after six pitches. He played the final two innings at short, but did not make a defensive play. Box score

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, __@Gerard_Gilberto._