Overshadowed by the signing of Manny Machado and the hype train for fellow MLB second-generation top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Padres rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. burst on the scene this season as a star that hit the ground running. Tatis made his MLB debut at age 20 on opening day and after 84 games, it appears his season is over.
What a roughly-half season it was.
Again, keep in mind it was basically a half season when looking at these numbers: .317/.379/.590, 151 OPS+, 106 hits, 13 doubles, six triples, 22 homers, 53 RBI, 61 runs, 16 steals, 4.2 WAR.
That's incredible, but we're gonna do more than just list his stats. The numbers don't even come close to telling the whole story on this wunderkind. Unfortunately, due to playing on the west coast in a small market, many baseball fans only know about the numbers on Tatis, but he's so much more. If there was a "pleasure to watch" WAR, Tatis might be at the top, rivaling the likes of Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor.
Let us enjoy this double with the Padres' signature sugarcane chop:
That's as pretty a right-handed swing can get along with the loud noise and smooth and subtle bat flip. Just beautiful. How about the wheels? Here he is, scoring from second on an infield single:
More wheels with a pretty slide:
Watch him get out of this rundown:
Let's see some power with dancing, to boot.
Let's check out the arm, shall we?
How about the range?
Almost as fun as watching Tatis play is listening to the Padres' broadcasters Don Orsillo and Mark Grant just rave about him (and, by the way, they are an amazing broadcast team). They watch him play every single game and are still seemingly in awe of his ability to make exciting plays. That's how fun he is.
Now, we're likely going to have to wait until the 2020 season to watch him again. It's such a shame, but there are many years of five-tool superstardom to come.
We're gonna miss you the rest of this season, Fernando, but thank you for what we got to see. It has been a true pleasure.