It’s fascinating how much change can occur over a short period. Heading into Spring Training, the Texas Rangers figured it’d be Geovany Soto and J.P. Arrencibia that would split time at catcher. As time would tell, injuries and ineffectiveness led to a revolving door of backstops.
This past week, Soto was sold to Oakland, and once again the opportunity arose for a minor league prospect to audition for future considerations at the big-league level. So far so good for former Frisco farmhand Tomas Telis.
Player Spotlight: C Tomas Telis
Telis, a switch-hitting catcher that can run a little, started off the year on fire at Frisco, and never cooled off despite jumping from Double-A to Triple-A Round Rock. Telis did not register on most of the pre-season prospect reports, and he was considered well behind upper-tier catching prospect Jorge Alfaro. Alfaro has now segued into the vacancy in Frisco left by Telis’ ascension to Triple-A earlier in the summer.
While at Frisco this season, Telis put together the triple-slash line of: .303/.339/.401 with 33 RBI. He led the RoughRiders in batting average for most of the season and even showed off his legs to the tune of seven stolen bases in eight chances—seven swiped bags on catchers’ legs is impressive. Clearly, he had proven that he was ready for the next level.
Telis’ next stop was to Triple-A Round Rock, where he impressed over his 139 at-bats, posting a .345/.377/.489 triple-slash line with 17 RBI and three home runs. Once Soto was sold to Oakland, the Rangers decided they had seen enough of Telis in the Bush Leagues. He recorded his first major-league base hit earlier this week, thanks to his quick feet. The 23-year-old Venezuelan probably never dreamed that his initial big league knock would come via a sacrifice bunt.
In Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, Telis truly shined. With the bases loaded and two outs, he laced the first offering he saw from Erasmo Ramirez to the top of the right field wall, clearing the bases and notching his first three RBI on the season (and of his major-league career). The future is certainly bright for Tomas Telis, who now sports a lofty .375 batting average with the Rangers. With such strong catching prospects as Jorge Alfaro and Telis, you have to think the future is bright for the Texas Rangers too.