Phillies: Jorge Bonifacio, Ruben Tejada finding success in minors

A general view of Philadelphia Phillies baseball hats (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
A general view of Philadelphia Phillies baseball hats (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies are usually one of the last teams to find at least one successful minor-league veteran signee — especially when a deal is agreed upon midway through he season. Yet, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski appears to have struck gold on not one, but two such players — outfielder Jorge Bonifacio and infielder Ruben Tejada.

Jorge Bonifacio and Ruben Tejada are succeeding as Phillies minor-leaguers.

Bonifacio, who is set to turn 28 on June 4, is a four-year MLB veteran who last season slashed .221/.277/.326 with three doubles, two home runs, and 17 RBI spanning 30 games for the Detroit Tigers. In each of his three prior seasons combined with the Kansas City Royals, the Dominican Republic native logged 21 home runs and 66 RBI in 187 games.

So far, Bonifacio is making the most of his time at Double-A Reading. Debuting on May 25, he has combined to slash .316/.350/.842 with one double, three home runs, 10 RBI, one walk, and just six strikeouts spanning 19 at-bats. In one of the games, Bonifacio hit a go-ahead grand slam to lead the Fightin’ Phils to victory.

Tejada, 31, is most remembered for his first six seasons spent with the division-rival New York Mets from 2010 to 2015 — particularly in the National League Division Series in 2015 when Los Angeles Dodgers infielder and Phillies great Chase Utley broke his leg on a controversial slide. Tejada rejoined the Mets in 2019, after also playing for the St. Louis Cardinals (2016), San Francisco Giants (2016), and Baltimore Orioles (2017). Overall, through 663 career games, Tejada is slashing .250/.324/.317 with 110 doubles, 10 home runs, 158 RBI, 202 walks, and 359 strikeouts.

Through 42 at-bats at Triple-A Lehigh Valley since May 19, Tejada is hitting a respectable .286, along with a .348 on-base percentage and .310 slugging perccentage. He has logged 11 singles, one double, five RBI, three walks, and just eight strikeouts over this stretch.

With the way the 2021 Phillies season has gone regarding injuries — the most recent being Roman Quinn — Bonifacio and/or Tejada just might be called up to the majors at some point. It is good to know that the team has depth in the minors in case this worst-case scenario comes to fruition.

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