Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/9/12

The Miami Marlins expected shortstop Jose Reyes to become their offensive engine when they signed him to a six-year, $106 million contract last winter. The New York Mets expected Reyes's replacement, Ruben Tejada, to help them move on from Reyes.

But the Mets never expected Tejada to become an engine of their own, batting atop their lineup and ranking near the top of the team leaderboard in hitting.

With a walk and a hit in his first two plate appearances Wednesday, Tejada was the lone bright spot in the Mets' 13-0 loss to Reyes' Marlins at Citi Field. The hit temporarily gave Tejada the highest batting average on the team, before David Wright singled in his third and fourth at-bats to reclaim the lead.

Ideally, Mets manager Terry Collins sees Tejada as a two-hole hitter, capable of moving runners around the bases and putting the ball in play at will. The Mets do not expect Tejada to provide much power or speed but hope that he can reach double-digit home run and stolen base totals as he matures.

"He can handle the bat, he doesn't strike out and puts the ball around the field," Collins said. "I think one of these days, he's going to be the kind of guy where if you get the leadoff guy on and he gets a first-pitch fastball, he's going to hit it into the seats. I think because of his offensive ceiling, he's going to have a chance to be a really good second hitter."

For now, they the Mets will take the singles that Tejada has become so adept at hitting -- even if he cannot quite match the offensive production of Reyes, who extended his own career-long hitting streak to 26 games Wednesday with a first-inning homer.

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