This space will mostly be used to discuss the previous day’s game, in some form or fashion, yes. Sometimes, however, we’ll diverge and talk about something else. (That silly Joel Sherman NY Post article was a strong contender, for example.) Today it’s Fernando Tatis Jr., a favorite prospect of this particular writer.
As I received the twitter notification from Phillip (@advancedstats23), the internet’s foremost collector of Tatis Jr. footage, I knew what I was in for.
— Fort Wayne TinCaps (@TinCaps) April 10, 2017
The camera operator didn’t, apparently.
- As you can see from the tweet, the ball traveled a TrackMan-estimated 437 feet to center field. That’s big-league strong.
- The home run was hit off of 21-year-old Bowling Green lefty Travis Ott, who tried to sneak a 91 mph, 3-2 fastball by Tatis and received an immediate lesson in trying such things. Drafted in the 25th round back in 2013 by the Nationals, Ott was involved in the three-team trade that brought the Padres Wil Myers back in 2014. He’d only given up 13 home runs in 203 career minor-league innings prior to Sunday. Travis, welcome to the club.
- Tatis hit the ball into something called “The Summit,” which, according to a later tweet, had only been reached by a hitter named Henry Charles. We’re told “The Summit” is being outfitted with baseball-proof glass and a T-shirt cannon missile defense system in preparation for a season long Tatis barrage.
- Tatis went 1-3 with a walk, a strikeout, and a steal on the day. It’s his third walk in four games this season. He also has six strikeouts in 18 plate appearances, which is something you can worry about if you like to worry about things. (Seriously, though, one of the things to watch with Tatis is how well he controls the zone.)
I’m still convinced that Tatis is essentially the perfect prospect to follow.
For one, he’s not a pitcher, which means you don’t have to constantly dread some kind of impending season-ending arm-related injury (knock on wood). He is a shortstop, which is exciting for obvious reasons. Many people think he’ll eventually grow out of the position, but it’s far from a lock. There are a number of tall shortstops currently in the majors, like Carlos Correa and Corey Seager (both are listed at 6-4). Obviously more than height will determine whether Tatis, who’s listed at 6-3 himself, can stick at short. It’s a positive that he’s playing there right now, either way. Even if he does eventually move to third, his most likely alternate landing spot, he projects as an above average defender there thanks to his arm and quickness. He also has power, which, well . . . see above. He’s young, too, just 18 but already at full-season ball, where you can really start to take stock in his performance. There are all the ingredients here for a future star besides a long statistical track record.
The only downside for prospects followers is that most of Tatis’ games in Fort Wayne aren’t streamed on MiLB.tv. Some road games are, though. On Thursday April 20, when Fort Wayne visits Great Lakes, you’ll be able to tune in on MiLB.tv (with a subscription, of course). All four games with Great Lakes will be streamed as well as three more from the following series at West Michigan. There are 14 more Fort Wayne games available on MiLB.tv in May but just four in June (we don’t go any further because who knows how long Tatis will be in Fort Wayne).
Clear your schedules accordingly. We’ve got a live one.