- Full name Tomás Telis
- Born 06/18/1991 in El Tigre, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 5'8" / Wt.: 220 / Bats: S / Throws: R
- Debut 08/25/2014
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Rangers traded prospects Jorge Alfaro and Telis in the span of a few days in July 2015, parting with their Opening Day catchers at Double-A and Triple-A. The Marlins, meanwhile, turned over the regular catching job to rookie J.T. Realmuto. Miami spent the rest of the season auditioning backups to see if any could hit passably. Always more bat than mitt, Telis has a knack for contact, with a flat swing path from both sides of the plate that results in more line drives and groundballs than loft. Thus, he uses the middle of the field and has below-average power. Telis has grown considerably as a receiver, earning praise from other clubs for his game-calling and intangibles. His arm strength is just average after Tommy John surgery in 2010, but his arm plays up thanks to a quick release. Telis could serve as the big league backup in 2016, though he also could head back to Triple-A New Orleans.
Telis hit well his first three years in the system, but his offensive performance tailed off in 2012 and 2013. He rebounded in 2014, making his big league debut in late August and sticking with the team the rest of the season. He has a knack for barreling the ball, with a flat swing path that results in more line drives and groundballs that loft, using the middle of the field with well below-average power. Telis has grown considerably as a receiver, committing just three passed balls in 82 games behind the plate in 2014, and he earns praise from other clubs for his game-calling and intangibles. Telis had Tommy John surgery in 2010, and while his arm strength is now average, controlling the running game is something he still must improve. He threw out 27 percent of basestealers in the minors in 2014, then erased just 1 of 17 in the majors. Telis could serve as the big league backup in 2015, though he might head back to Triple-A.
Telis initially attracted scouting interest as a middle infielder, but the Rangers moved him behind the plate immediately after signing him for $130,000 in 2007 because of his thick torso and strong lower half. He had Tommy John surgery in 2010 that kept him out for most of the season, and Texas kept his throwing workload down last year by having him split time behind the plate with Kellin Deglan at Hickory. Telis' arm has bounced back well, though it's just fringy and he detracts from it with inconsistent mechanics. He erased just 19 percent of basestealers in low Class A. He still has a lot of work to do behind the plate, as he struggles receiving velocity and movement, and he doesn't block balls in the dirt well. With short arms and a stocky build, Telis doesn't necessarily look the part, but he can rake and rivals Jurickson Profar as the system's pure hitter. A switch-hitter, Telis is significantly better from the left side. Though he's ultra-aggressive, Telis' has strong handeye coordination that allows him to consistently barrel the ball. He has a line-drive swing and projects to have more gap than over-the-fence power. Telis could be a bat-first backstop, though scouts wonder if he'll be able to stay behind the plate full-time, so he might end up splitting time between catcher and DH. He'll get more playing time at catcher in 2012, when he advances to high Class A and Deglan returns to Hickory.
Telis signed for $130,000 in July 2007, and the Rangers wasted no time converting him from shortstop to catcher because of his stocky build. He had a solid pro debut in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League in 2008, winning the league's all-star game MVP award. He turned 18 just three days before making his U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League last June, and hit well enough against older competition to earn a late-season taste of Spokane. Telis is a pure line-drive hitter from both sides of the plate--he hit .313 against lefties and .325 against righties in the AZL. He makes consistent contact and has average raw power, though he has yet to tap into it in games. He has a chance to be an above-average hitter if he can learn to command the strike zone better. Telis is raw behind the plate, however. He has a fringe-average arm and a quick release, but he threw out just 19 percent of AZL basestealers last year. He must improve his footwork, receiving skills and transfer. He has below-average speed but isn't bad for a catcher. In time, Telis could be an offensive catcher with fringy defensive skills, which would make him a solid big league regular. He'll likely open 2010 at Spokane but could earn a promotion to low Class A at some point.
Minor League Top Prospects
The switch-hitting Telis was a shortstop when he signed out of Venezuela in 2007, but his stocky build led the Rangers to decide he'd be better off behind the plate. He's still very raw as a catcher and needs to dedicate himself to improving his defense. Despite average arm strength and a quick release, he threw out just 19 percent of AZL basestealers. Telis, who hit .322 in his first season in the United States, makes consistent contact and gets good carry on the ball. He won't be a big power hitter, but he could hit 15-20 homers per years once he learns that a few more strikeouts will be acceptable as long as he drives the ball.