The slugging first baseman that the Braves need, and have lacked (other than for a couple of months of LaRoche) since Andres Galarraga. Teixeira is from Maryland but played college ball at Georgia Tech, where in 2000 he was the Baseball America College Player of the Year. The Rangers made him the fifth pick in the 2001 draft. In 2002 he hit .318 with 19 homers in 86 minor league games, and in 2003 he was in the majors.
Primarily a third baseman in college and the minors, the Rangers shifted him to first base partially out of defensive concern but also because they already had Hank Blalock. Teixeira was fifth in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 2003, hitting a solid but unspectacular .259 .331 .480. He blossomed the next season, raking it for .281 .370 .560, and followed up with .301 .379 .575 in 2005, leading the league in total bases, finishing seventh in the MVP voting, and making the All-Star team.
Teixeira didn’t play quite as well in 2006, but .282 .371 .514 will more than do. This season, he’s had some injuries (after playing every game in 2005-06) and has hit .297 .397 .524. His most-similar player through Age 26 is Fred McGriff, but resembles Chipper in a way — a switch-hitter with an all-around offensive game. He won the last two AL Gold Gloves at first base. There were some concerns that he was partially a creation of the Rangers’ ballpark, but has hit basically the same at home and on the road the last couple of years.