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Fernando Tatis Jr. Promoted to Double-A

Fernando Tatis Jr. Benjamin White via Flickr


Fernando Tatis Jr. Promoted to Double-A

For all the trades made by A.J. Preller in the name of building up, then clearing house and rebuilding again, there is one that may stand out years from now as the most important trade of the bunch. In June of 2016, Preller traded starting pitcher James Shields to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Erik Johnson and minor league shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis Jr., son of Fernando Tatis, an 11-year MLB veteran, exploded on to the scene upon arriving at A-Level Fort Wayne following his trade from the White Sox. Listed at 6’3 185 lbs on MLB Pipeline and the #58 ranked prospect, Tatis Jr. is making waves in the minor league and across prospect rankings everywhere.

The 18-year old has hit .281/.390/.520 at Fort Wayne with 21 home runs and 29 stolen bases this season. He also managed 75 walks against 124 strikeouts at A-ball. Although the strikeout number is high, it’s important to remember Fernando Tatis Jr. is just 18, still years younger than the vast majority of his competition at any of the levels he has been playing at.


Following his breakout, Tatis Jr. was promoted to Double-A San Antonio and has played only one game so far, a hitless effort with one strikeout. However, the chance for Tatis Jr. to develop into a true star for the Padres remains a tangible dream for the organization. Fernando Tatis Jr. is already hitting for considerable power. As a defender, Tatis Jr. still has to work on errors. He has 25 so far this season in 109 games played. That should be ironed out as he progresses in the minors.

Along with a slew of other highly touted prospects, Tatis Jr. is one hugely important part of a much larger plan that Preller and the Padres’ front office have put together. As other prospects like Cal Quantrill, recent draft pick Mackenzie Gore and international signee Michael Baez continue to move closer to the majors, the hope will be that Tatis Jr. is there to join them as well. The parts are there for the Padres to have an effective core of home grown, star talent for years to come, but all of it hinges on whether the talent continues to develop as it has.