Last week the rebuilding of the San Diego Padres started (AGAIN). The team traded away pitcher James Shields to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitcher Erik Johnson and young SS prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. Although Johnson may contribute as a back of the rotation starter, the key to the trade is Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is the son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis, the White Sox signed the younger Tatis last summer out of the Dominican Republic. He has shown enough for scouts to consider him a decent prospect with upside. He is only 17 years old, so there is time for him to develop. Though currently a shortstop, most scouts agree on the fact that he could eventually become a third baseman like his father.
He has a lot to learn and obviously he wont be in the majors anytime son, but the important thing with Tatis is that he has tons of upside. As a Padres fan, I’m tired of never having anything to look forward to. When was the last time the Friars had a legitimate prospect? For years we’ve had nothing down on the farm, but that might change as soon as this summer.
Tatis will not be overwhelmed by the big leagues. After all his old man played 11 season in the majors for five different teams, so he knows what it’s like to be in a club house and what is expected of a professional player.
He has every physical tool you can look for, he’s about six foot-one inch and 180 lbs. The young Dominican can hit for power that is for sure. There are still holes in his swing and struggles a bit with some of the off-speed stuff, but that’s certainly understandable for a 17-year-old kid. Take a look at this video and some of skill he has on the field both defensively and in the batters box.
The Padres now have a surplus of SS prospects with Tatis, Jose Rondon and Javier Guerra, but that’s a good thing. You can never have enough good prospects at such an important position. From the Padres perspective this is was the correct move to make. Shields underachieved during his time in San Diego, he seems to be on the decline in his career and you could argue that his value was only going to diminish.
This is not the only move the team will make as the rebuilding will continue. Who will be next? There are plenty of choices, maybe Melvin Upton Jr. maybe Matt Kemp or even Drew Pomeranz if the price is right. This team needs to upgrade the talent in the farm system and the only way to do that is to push the reset button. Will it work? Nobody knows for sure, but it will give the San Diego Padres one thing they don’t have with their current roster, a future. Fernando Tatis Jr is part of that future and he could be a really special player.