The San Diego Padres have not had stability at the shortstop position for quite some time now. It has essentially been a revolving door since the departure of Everth Cabrera. However, Cabrera only had two years in which he played more than 100 games. We would have to go all the way back to Khalil Greene in order to find some semblance of stability at the shortstop position. This is far less than ideal.
Carlos Correa is arguably the best offensive shortstop in the game right now. Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager are right up there with him. However, Correa is now a World Series Champion and that is what San Diegans are eyeing.
Correa is coming off a season in which he batted .315 and belted 24 home runs. Put those statistics on the Padres roster and he automatically becomes our premium player in the lineup. What makes Correa so special is his age. The kid is only 22 years old. For those who are beginning to become impatient for the Padres to compete, we can have some hope that Tatis Jr. can begin contributing real soon.
Aside from his stellar offensive performance in the regular season, Carlos Correa really came through during the postseason. In the 2017 playoffs, Correa hit .281, drove in 11 runs while hitting five home runs. A few of those homers came in crucial points in the game. It is pretty clear to those across the league that Carlos Correa is the real deal and that he is going to be good for many years to come. The Astros’ organization is incredibly lucky to have him as he is an easy guy to root for.
Those Padre fans who are familiar with the farm system, understand that we may be on the brink of a star like Correa. They are all eager to get Fernando Tatis Jr. to Petco Park to see just how good he can truly be. Based on his 2017 season, it is clear that the Padres may have struck gold with Tatis Jr. as he clobbered 22 home runs and accumulated a respectable average of .278 between Single-A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio. As a comparison, when Correa was 18 years old playing for the Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, he batted .320 with nine home runs.
In the little bit of film on Tatis, he shows off his free-swinging nature at the dish as he displays an approach to being a first pitch swinger. This may not fare well early on when he finally gets the call-up to the major league roster, but as he has in the minor leagues, he will formulate and execute his game plan at the plate. You can never waste a pitch at the plate. This only becomes more true as players make their first appearances at the major league level.
The only person in control of how Fernando Tatis Jr. will fare in the major leagues is himself. As it stands right now, he is following a close trajectory to that of Carlos Correa. To take this comparison even further, Tatis Jr. may be paired up with Luis Urias at second base, a guy with a similar build to Jose Altuve. That comparison is just too fun. I would be stoked if Tatis Jr./Urias becomes half of the SS/2B duo that Correa/Altuve currently is.
It will be interesting to see how Tatis Jr. performs this next year as he edges closer to being MLB ready. It is imperative for him to continue having success both at the dish and on the field. Like Correa, I hope the Padres call him up early on, so he can get reps without the games having much meaning. I would not be surprised if he is on the starting roster at some point in the 2019 season.
While this comparison is merely conjecture and for the fun of looking forward to Tatis Jr., it is certainly refreshing to see a young shortstop have success at the major league level. Based on all of the hype and from what we have all seen from Tatis Jr. thus far, I think Padres fans can expect some serious stability at the shortstop position in the very near future.
Final Note/Reminder: We acquired Fernando Tatis Jr. for James Shields. Thank you White Sox. Carry on.