The San Diego Padres just got a lot better on the left side of the infield with Manny Machado. Sometime this season, he will be paired with a player who draws comparisons to himself.
Manny Machado is going to be a San Diego Padre. Keep repeating that in your mind and keep on smiling. Your smile should grow and your imagination runs wild at the thought of Fernando Tatis Jr. playing shortstop right beside Machado, the player Tatis is often compared to.
Dennis Line wrote an article about the hype Tatis will bring to Spring Training and quoted a scout saying:
“He’s another Manny Machado to me.”
Funny thing is, Tatis and Machado already have a relationship. They share the same agent, Machado is of Dominican descent, Tatis’ native country, and they have met on several occasions. Machado even paid for Tatis to see him play in Arizona when the Dodgers played the Diamondbacks while Tatis was rehabbing in Peoria late last season.
This could blossom into one of the best shortstop/third base tandems in the entire sport. Tatis looks up to Machado as surely many other Latin American budding stars do. He is the gold standard. Having a guy like him in the same clubhouse, wearing the same uniform, on the same side of the infield, can only help a guy like Tatis. In fact, it really can’t hurt that the new face of the franchise is someone who most of the Padres prospects, a lot of whom hail from Latin American countries, admire and revere.
Tatis will be a Padre in 2019, just no one knows when. Some argue Machado’s signing accelerates that process, others say it could slow it down, especially if Machado opens at shortstop. Either way, a player like Machado can elevate the entire team. He plays with a passion and fire that is infectious.
How could a player not feed off of that energy? Fernando Tatis Jr. plays with a similar flare and emotion, which is a welcome sight for Padres fans. This team will be likable and fun to watch.
It’s not every day you get to play next to the player you admire. Tatis will do that with Machado. Machado is 6-3, 215 pounds, Tatis is also 6-3 and will likely fill out his 185-pound frame with time. They have similar body types and similar skill sets. What better way to have Tatis turn out anything like Machado than having them in the same lineup or playing in the same infield?
Manny Machado has won four Gold Gloves and even a Platinum Glove, awarded to the best glove of the Gold Glove winners in the league. At third best, he is one of the best in the business at the plate and on defense.
Tatis has slick fielding abilities and a good arm as well. He consistently makes highlight-reel plays at shortstop. He also brings the thunder with the bat, like Machado.
Machado has four seasons of 33 or more home runs and Tatis projects to be a 25-30 home run player.
Putting these two together was a no-brainer. It will likely be a natural friendship that will spread good vibes throughout the clubhouse. Chemistry is important on a winning baseball team and despite what people say about Machado, he will fit in well with what the Padres have built in the locker room and that will be especially true with his future sidekick, Fernando Tatis Jr.