Tellez, 22, is slashing .226/.298/.337 with six home runs, 55 RBI and six steals in 113 games for Triple-A Buffalo. Tellez never got things going this season, struggling to hit for average while also failing to improve his power stroke. His ISO has plummeted from .233 last season to .112 in 2017. Tellez has been a bit unlucky as witnessed by his .268 BABIP, but no matter how the numbers are crunched, it has been a disappointing season for him. Still, at just 23 years of age he will return to Triple-A at the beginning of the 2018 campaign.
Tellez, 22, is hitting .212/.285/.338 with five home runs and 30 RBI through 64 games for Triple-A Buffalo. The sluggish season thus far from Tellez also happens to coincide with a stellar year for Justin Smoak, the starting first baseman for the big club. As a result -- and with Kendrys Morales still in the fold as well -- Tellez will have to bide his time in the minors waiting for an injury or trade.
Tellez worked with Jays legend Carlos Delgado last week on finding a consistent stroke at the plate, John Lott of The Athletic reports. Devon White, the former Blue Jays star who is now Tellez's hitting coach at Triple-A Buffalo, has also been molding the young first baseman. Both White and Delgado agree that the 22-year-old needs to take advantage of the inner half of the plate. "I think his swing got a little long," White said. "And he wants to use the whole field, but sometimes you can't use the whole field. You have to go with how they're pitching you, and they're pitching him in a lot. So he should be pulling those pitches." Tellez said he was determined to shed his pull-hitter stereotype, but also admitted that strategy has worked against him. "I wanted to use the whole field and that was affecting me," he said. "Now that we've talked and worked on it, it's understanding that if they're pitching me inside consistently, then I've got to know exactly what's going on." In his first season playing at Triple-A, Tellez is hitting .208/.359/.457 through 38 games.
Tellez, 22, is slashing just .198/.298/.333 with three home runs and eight RBI through 21 games for Triple-A Buffalo. Edwin Encarnacion is long gone and Justin Smoak has been merely adequate, but this is not the type of start that will get the Blue Jays thinking of handing Tellez the keys to first base. Tellez remains the first baseman of the future for the Jays, but a call-up is anything but imminent.
Manager John Gibbons said Monday that Tellez will report to Triple-A Buffalo to begin the season, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports. Tellez impressed the Blue Jays' brass with his strong plate discipline during spring training, but the 22-year-old didn't warrant any serious attention for an Opening Day roster spot, despite the team's lack of depth at first base. After a breakout season at Double-A New Hampshire in which he swatted 23 homers, Tellez will have to prove the power he displayed wasn't a fluke while moving up to Triple-A, but his existing contact skills should at least give him a decent floor once he matriculates to the majors.
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