The San Diego Padres’ farm system is growing beyond belief.
Players with high ceilings are at almost every level.
The growth of the farm system is phenomenal, and not many players have developed more in recent months than the San Diego Padres’ infielder, Fernando Tatis Jr. The 18-year-old, Dominican, right-handed hitter is currently playing at the Single-A level, and is holding his own against much older competition in the Midwest League.
There were many whispers that perhaps Tatis was not ready for a full season of professional baseball. Some thought he should have probably started in the AZL League with many of the younger international draft picks from the 2016 signing period. The Padres made the decision to further his growth at Fort Wayne, and he has not disappointed.
Tatis has put up a .263/.342/.401 batting line in his first 35 games and 137 at bats. He has slugged three home runs and driven in 18 runs. Tatis has showcased decent speed, recording two triples and six doubles thus far in the 2017 season. The power is developing for this young man, and with that, he has found it difficult to make consistent contact at the plate. Tatis has struck out 48 times, opposed to walking 15 times in Fort Wayne. That currently places him tied for fourth in K’s in all of Single-A baseball. Reports are that he is having trouble recognizing the off-speed pitch and laying off of it.
The teenager has plenty of time to get better. Just watch for the progression at the plate. That is the most vital thing for a young player like himself. In reality, he is still growing and he is still learning himself as a ball player.
Failure is to be expected. Your response to that failure is what determines who you are in the game of baseball. This is something that he understands about the game and about life in general.
In a recent interview, Tatis spoke about his progression at the plate, and that he is excited for his future.
His enthusiasm for the game is contagious, and the Padres were wise to bring him in to help guide some of the younger players within the system. Tatis is 18, but he has a maturity about him that comes from being a son of a major leaguer. He has been in a major league locker room before. He has seen many legends of the game, up close and personal. The young man is humble for where he is in the game, but you can be sure he will not be awed by the game itself.
In this next video, he speaks to John Nolan from the TinCaps, after a game-winning single on April 19. We see an early propensity for Tatis to come up big when the game is on the line. That is exactly what you want to see from a young player. He has no fear, and is ready to get the big hit when needed.
Tatis is still years away from playing at Petco Park. But at 18 and already performing at Single-A, he is ahead of the curve.
The San Diego Padres have no desire to rush him. He is playing shortstop everyday in Fort Wayne, but it is still to be determined where he will play at the major league level. Tatis has committed 11 errors so far at the infield position. He has a rocket arm, but is still learning to get his footwork in order to be a consistent shortstop. If you ask Tatis, he wants to stay at the position, but the Padres are definitely more excited about his hitting potential than his ability with the glove.
The maturity on this young man is off the charts. He has the poise to be a solid contributor on a major league team.
It is really just a matter of time.