Fernando Tatis Jr. is already a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder

May 1, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) takes the field before the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The short URL of the present article is: https://www.eastvillagetimes.com/n3mt
Spread the love
May 2, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) is greeted by fans before the game against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Less than one month into his first full season as an outfielder, Fernando Tatis Jr. looks the part of a Gold Glover.

When the Padres signed Xander Bogaerts to a long-term deal, many wondered what that meant for Fernando Tatis Jr. Bogaerts being a four-time All-Star at shortstop essentially necessitated a position change for Tatis to the outfield. The small sample size with Tatis in the outfield in 2021 along with previous perceived attitude issues had fans understandably worried about what this change would do to their embattled superstar.

It looks like those worries can all be put to rest. Tatis has been nothing short of spectacular in right field in 2023. Sure, there is a learning curve to it, as there is with any position change. No one is immune to that. There is also the ego check that comes with having to move off of your lifelong position for the betterment of the team.

At this point, Tatis appears to have shrugged all that off and turned himself into a possible Gold Glove-winning right fielder. His pure athleticism and freakish ability is on full display, and the numbers bare that out.

His Baseball Savant page is dripping red when it comes to his outfield defense. He is in the 91st percentile for Outs Above Average as well as 98th in both Outfield Jump and Arm Strength.


He also leads the National League among right fielders with 6 Defensive Runs Saved at this point. Just a reminder that he missed the first three weeks of the season and is already lapping his fellow NL right fielders.

I'd like this amount to  

Not bad for a guy who had played just 24 games in the outfield in his entire professional career before this season.

While it is early, the numbers look good for a continued rise to being an elite defensive right fielder. For those who paid attention, it should not be all that surprising. Tatis is one of just a handful of players in Major League Baseball that possess the athleticism to play basically any professional sport they choose. Professional soccer, basketball, football, you name it, Tatis has the athleticism to match up with the best of the best. It turns out that helps track down balls in the outfield at a well-above-average level.

Now, in 2023, it looks like the desire and buy-in from No. 23 is there, along with the different-planet-like athleticism. That’s a scary combo for the rest of the league.

Along with his athleticism, work ethic, and natural fielding ability, his elite arm is on full display. He owns the fifth-fastest ball thrown from the outfield in all of baseball this season, at 100.0 mph.

He added another one to his resume on Tuesday night against Kansas City. He is starting to make things like this a habit.

Tatis has the concoction of pure athleticism, desire, natural ability, and strength. That is looking like it could earn him a Gold Glove in right field sooner rather than later. Of course, he will have to wrestle the award for NL right fielders away from Mookie Betts, who at one point won a Gold Glove five straight years and last year won it for the sixth time in seven seasons. If anyone possesses the traits to get that done, it’s Tatis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *