Fernando Tatis Jr., one of baseball’s top prospects, will open the 2019 season in the major leagues with the San Diego Padres, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Tatis, 20, is considered neck-and-neck with Toronto Blue Jays phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for top prospect in all of baseball. He will make his major league debut when he takes the field for the Padres, having peaked in Double-A last season.
Tatis, a shortstop, hit .286 with 16 home runs, 43 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 88 games with San Antonio last season. He was shut down in July after needing left thumb surgery, returning to play 23 games in the Dominican Winter League during the offseason.
“I feel like I’m ready,” Tatis said Monday, according to MLB.com. “I feel like I’m ready to go. I don’t know. We’ll see what it’s going to be. I’m not saying everything is going to be 100 percent perfect right away. In this game, you learn every day and you just make adjustments.”
Tatis, the son of former major-leaguer Fernando Tatis, is hitting .241 with two homers and four RBIs in 54 at-bats during spring training.
The Padres enter the 2019 season with a sense of buzz after the signing of prized free agent third baseman Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract.
By opening the year with Tatis on the roster instead of keeping him in the minors the first 15 days, they lose a year of control on the infielder before he can reach free agency.
—Field Level Media