Player Profile: Kanekoa Texeira
By Jack Dempsey
The Royals have claimed 24 year old right-hander Kanekoa Texeira off waivers from the Seattle Mariners and have promoted him to the big-league ballclub.¬† Righty Brad Thompson was designated for assignment to make room for Exeira on the roster.¬† The Mariners had designated Texeira and fellow northpaw Jesus Colome for assignment two days ago.
Texeira tosses a fastball around 90 miles per hour and also throws a change-up and a slider.¬† The Chicago White Sox originally drafted him in the 22nd round of the 2006 June amateur draft out of Saddleback College, a two-year school in California.¬† He was sent to the New York Yankees along with Nick Swisher a couple offseasons ago and was claimed by the Seattle Mariners from the Yanks in the 2009 Rule 5 draft.¬† In 16 big-league appearances for Seattle, Texeira sports a 5.30 ERA and a 6.8 SO/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 18 2/3 innings.
From the short-season Appalachian League Bristol Sox to the AA Trenton Thunder, Texeira has found Minor League success everywhere he has traveled.¬† He sports a career 2.5 ERA, 237 strikeouts, and 92 walks in 245 2/3 innings for several affiliates for Chicago and New York.¬† He was used as a closer for Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem in 2007 and 2008, recording 36 saves.
Texeira relies heavily on a sinker and slider.¬† His slider dives away from right-handers with a two-plane break.¬† Texeira’s sinker typically sits between 88-91, though he has been known to be most effective when he is working with a lower velocity.¬† His change-up is below average and is a low-leverage show-me pitch.¬† He is a sidearming ground ball pitcher and generally keeps the ball in the ballpark.¬† Controlling the running game and controlling the baseball have been a bit spotty in the past.
Baseball America ranked him as the second best talent in California for the 2004 draft and the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him that year but he never signed, opting to attend college, going undrafted until 2006.¬† He served primarily as a swingman for the Gauchos and was rather effective in the bullpen but perhaps less so in the rotation, where he posted a 4 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 5.57 K/9 in 63 innings.¬† In 2007, he arrived at the White Sox training camp overweight and was sent to a conditioning program to get him in shape before he arrived late on the scene for Kannapolis, so questions regarding his impending physical condition are perhaps justified.
I advocated acquiring Texeira when he was submitted to waivers several days ago and I believe he represents an upgrade in the bullpen, so I like this move, overall.
By Jack Dempsey
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