Taking a look at San Diego Padres’ shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
2020 was a stepping stone year for the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr., arguably the most exciting player to watch in baseball.
Tatis wrapped up his age 21 season, posting a .277 batting average with 17 home runs and 45 RBI’s in a shortened 60 game season. In 143 career games, Tatis has shown baseball fans that he can be an all-time great
The shortstop finished fourth in the MVP voting and earned his first Silver Slugger Award. He brings a swag and entertainment factor to the Padres that they have not had in years. Tatis plays the game hard and knows how to have fun, smiling and dancing along the way.
The young superstar also owns who he is, and we saw this with his memorable grand slam against the Texas Rangers that was the first of four straight games with a grand slam. Otherwise known as “Slam Diego.” Rangers’ pitcher Juan Nicasio threw a 3-0 fastball, and Tatis launched it to right-center, putting the Padres up 14-3. Tatis is a remote-stopper, must-see TV. The Padres have a generational talent and look to build upon last year’s success. Hopefully, the young shortstop helps bring the commissioner’s trophy to San Diego.
Tatis is only 22 years old. He is not even in his prime or near the prime of his career. The young Dominican is already a great player, and you can see how high his ceiling is in the game.
The Padres’ just signed Tatis to a 14-year extension worth $340 million, so Padre fans won’t have to worry about him leaving. The young Dominican put up historical numbers in his short career. Through his first 100 games, Tatis posted a .320 average, 30 home runs, and 70 RBI’s, which were better than Mike Trout and Alex Rodriguez through 100 games. You are doing something right if you are ahead of Trout and Rodriguez in any list.
Through his first 100 games, Tatis has also posted a 1.010 OPS and a .625 slugging percentage. Both are the best in baseball history. You might be wondering who is second on that list. Some guys named Joe DiMaggio with a .599 slugging percentage and Albert Pujols with a .980 OPS. It makes sense why the Padres locked up Tatis to a record contract after only 143 career games. He is a generational talent, and you should expect him to have a huge 2021 season.
Tatis plays a very demanding position. We saw him banged up a couple of times during his rookie campaign in 2019. He only played in 83 games after sustaining a hamstring injury and a stress reaction in his back. It will be interesting to see how his body holds up playing shortstop for 150-plus games. To his credit, he did play in 59 out of the possibly 60 games last season. The shortstop committed 18 errors in 83 games as a rookie, second-most in the National League. He cleaned it up last season with three errors in 60 games.
Tatis has recorded 171 strikeouts in 143 games, but that is to be expected with a young player. The question is will he be able to make adjustments as he did with his errors and availability on the field. Given how young he is, there should be no doubt that Tatis can make the necessary adjustments and be one of the best players in the game.
Tatis will be one of the Padres’ best players in 2021. You can expect him to hit a .280 plus, slug between 30-40 home runs, and drive in over 100 RBI’s. He will probably post another top-five MVP voting-season if not win the award outright this coming winter. He is that special. Fernando Tatis Jr. is in one of the most talented baseball lineups, surrounded by Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer. I would expect those three to push each other and help the Padres reach the playoffs again in 2021. You already see how electric Tatis is at the age of 22. You can expect him to have a huge impact on the Padres and help them have a successful 2021 campaign. The sky is the limit.