The San Diego Padres have had spectacular players come up through the farm system over the years.
Khalil Greene, Dave Winfield, Randy Jones, Jake Peavy, Chase Headley, Tony Gwynn. The list goes on and on. Well, maybe it doesn’t, but things are changing. A.J. Preller has stocked the Padres’ farm system like it has never been before.
With the waves of talent coming up in the next few years, Fernando Tatis Jr. is the best prospect I have ever seen. I know I am only a teenager and have probably not seen as much baseball as you, but there is just something about the young Dominican infielder. He is special.
The right-handed-hitting Tatis is the son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis. His dad played in the big leagues for 11 seasons with the Rangers, Expos, Orioles, Cardinals, and the Mets. Tatis Sr. is mostly known for hitting two grand slams in one inning off of Chan-Ho Park, in a game against the Dodgers. That’s an incredible feat and provides you a glimpse into the family lineage that Tatis comes from. Fernando Tatis Jr. was meant to play baseball.
If it wasn’t for the White Sox attempting to compete in 2016 and trading for James Shields, Tatis would not be a Padre. You have to commend A.J. Preller for heisting him from the Sox at the cost of an aging pitcher and some cash.
Tatis is a unique shortstop. He is listed at 6 foot 3 and 185 pounds, although sometimes it seems he is much lighter, because of his speed and athleticism on the field.
When I look at Tatis right now in Arizona, it reminds me of current stars when they were in the minor leagues.
He has unbelievable power, but in order to be a great hitter, you also need to have great plate discipline. He has shown that, which is unusual for a player his age. You can check that box, as last year Tatis led the Midwest League in walks with 75 as an 18-year-old with the TinCaps.
Tatis received his first big league invite to spring camp this year, and said he will be “knocking on the door” and that “it will be a tough decision for them” referring to being a September call-up for the Padres. At this point, he might not even have to wait until September the way he is progressing with the bat.
The youngster isn’t making Andy Green‘s job any easier. It is the first game of spring training in Peoria and he hit a pitch that was low and away over the right field wall into the Padres’ bullpen. Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, or Carlos Correa never displayed that much opposite field power at a young age.
On Sunday, San Diego played split-squad games at home against Oakland and on the road at Camelback Ranch. Andy Green and all of the star players, that included Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, and Austin Hedges, were in Peoria and lost. Tatis was at Camelback taking on his former team and putting on the best offensive performance in the league, going 4-4 with five RBI, including a double in the left-center field gap for his fourth hit of the day.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is a very special player. We are all realizing that now. He is the best prospect I have ever seen in my young life. In time, he may be the best prospect you have ever seen in your life as well. He has that type of ceiling. Enjoy.