When the San Diego Padres signed Xander Bogaerts to a $280 million contract in the offseason, Fernando Tatis Jr.’s fate was sealed.
He was no longer the Padres’ shortstop.
Thankfully, he has a great arm that plays up nicely in the outfield.
Oh, you don’t believe us?
See it for yourself:
.@tatis_jr shows off the arm. pic.twitter.com/MfGLxT9Ius
— MLB (@MLB) May 17, 2023
Let’s all agree that Vinnie Pasquantino is not the fastest of runners, but Tatis’ throw beat him by a mile anyway.
He showed the body control, footwork, technique, and arm strength of a legitimate right fielder.
In fact, the numbers said he was a lousy shortstop, but is a terrific corner outfielder.
After Tuesday’s game, Tatis has seven (!) Defensive Runs Saved, or DRS, and two Outs Above Average, or OAA.
Those are the two most widely used defensive metrics in the game at the moment, and Tatis is passing the test with flying colors according to both.
Probably not even the Padres imagined Tatis being so good there so quickly, but here we are.
He is an extremely athletic player, so he can reach balls that few outfielders can.
Once he gets more comfortable with his footwork and experience lets him improve his reads, jumps, and routes, he will be a true difference-maker in the outfield.
Quite frankly, he is quite close to reaching that level.
With the stick, he is still warming up: his .812 OPS is good, but still not quite the level of excellence we are used to seeing from him.
He will eventually get there as long as his shoulder doesn’t bark again.NEXT: Michael Wacha Comments On His Nearly Perfect Outing