East County Sports

Former Eagle Taijeron could get Mets’ call

2015 Local Baseball Pros


It’s Time to Promote Travis Taijeron


By Alex Dettmer and Bill Dickens

© EastCountySports.com

NEW YORK (7-30-15) — Former Granite Hills slugger TRAVIS TAIJERON is a Triple-A player currently playing for Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League, knocking at the door for a job with the New York Mets.

Looking for an upgrade to their offense, the Mets recently made a trade to acquire Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. With these two players in the fold, the team now has a left handed and a right handed player who can play multiple positions while not embarrassing themselves at the plate.

While these players are great additions to what was a terrible bench, neither of them fully address the Mets biggest issue: The Mets can’t hit left-handed pitching.

The Mets are the worst or the second worst team at hitting LHP in all of the MLB. If they are so bad at hitting LHP, there must be players doing particularly bad who are pulling down the team’s totals.

Eric Campbell’s role on the Mets is to play multiple positions while not embarrassing himself at the plate, particularly against LHP.

Curtis Granderson, the biggest offender vs LHP, is officially in need of a platoon partner. Here’s the issue, the Mets are carrying three reserves who can play the outfield but two of them are left-handed and the other is Eric Campbell.  So what to do?

Enter AAA outfielder Taijeron.

Taijeron is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect selected in the 18th round of the June 2011 Draft by the Mets. Taijeron has played with little fanfare, however, he is a player who at every level since A+ has had an OPS above .820 (.943 this year) while almost always being old for his league. Taijeron is a high walk, high strikeout player with a good amount of pop (17 HRs in 89 games this year for the Las Vegas 51s).

So if Taijeron has such a high OPS and is in AAA, why isn’t anyone talking about him? The answer is quite simple: Taijeron is a right-handed hitter, who has trouble making enough contact against right-handed pitching. But, a quick look at his AAA splits also shows something that the Mets are sorely lacking: his OPS against LHP this year is a robust 1.213.

Taijeron isn’t a superstar in the making. It might turn out that he isn’t even a legitimate bench bat. But one thing’s for sure, Taijeron has proven that he can hit LHP in the minors, and he is a better option than Campbell for the currently constructed Mets.

The time to find out if Taijeron can help the bench and platoon in the outfield is now. In the worst case, Taijeron produces at the same level as Campbell did, the Mets demote him and go back to allowing Curtis Granderson to play everyday.

In the best case, the Mets learn that they have a right-handed bench bat / outfield platoon partner for years to come and increase the offensive production from the outfield immediately. Considering the Mets gave John Mayberry Jr a million and a half dollars in the off season to serve that exact role, Taijeron on a rookie contract sounds pretty good.

Taijeron time has arrived, make the move Sandy (Alderson, Mets General Manager).


Taijeron’s stats on baseball-reference.com

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