Fernando is the son of Fernando Tatis, former 11-year veteran big league third baseman
Junior often tagged along in clubhouses as a child. He was 11 when his father quit playing, so he remembers quite a bit about his final years with the New York Mets. Guidance on how to play the game has come over the years, of course, but so too has advice on how to navigate the early stages of the Minor Leagues.
"My dad just keeps it simple with me," said Tatis, whose grandfather played for about a decade in the Astros system. "He just says 'work hard, you know what to do and no matter what, have fun. Because this game is going to be tough on you, and you've got to keep it that way.'"
In 2015, the White Sox signed Tatis, Jr In 2017, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ferando as the 17th-best prospect in the Padres' organization
In 2015, the White Sox signed Tatis, Jr
In 2017, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ferando as the 17th-best prospect in the Padres' organization
October 2017: Fernando was named the Padres Prospect of the Year by MLBPipeline.com. That is because Tatis became the first 18-year-old ever to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the low Class A Midwest League and was promoted to Double-A San Antonio in August, where he hit .350 n the Texas League playoffs! At age 18!
Tatis, whose father (Tatis Sr.) played 11 years in the bigs and is the only man to hit two grand slams in one inning.
Tatis is a natural leader. He is nearly bilingual and an effective communicator with impressive self-awareness for his age.
The Padres knew Fernando was a special talent from the moment he arrived in June 2016. They didn't know just how special until one September afternoon in Tempe.
As a 17-year-old shortstop, Tatis had wowed scouts all summer with his easy athleticism, big league frame and smooth swing. But that was in Rookie ball. This was instructional ball, featuring the best young talent from every organization.
In the first inning that day, Tatis smashed a single and stole second then third on the next two pitches. In his next at-bat, he singled and stole two bases again. In his third at-bat, he launched an opposite-field home run. For good measure, he added an excellent defensive play.
"He just took over the entire baseball game," said one member of the Padres' player development staff. "He was so clearly the best player on the field that day. Then there was a week's worth of it. He hit oppo home run after oppo home run, made play after play, and we were like 'Oh my God.'"
The legend was born, though it took some time to make its way into the national consciousness. Tatis was still an unknown commodity, nowhere to be found on any prospect rankings. Twenty months later in Spring Training 2018, Tatis is the crown jewel of the Padres' top-ranked farm system. He's the presumed shortstop of the future.
The Padres conclude their developmental seasons with a prospects game at Petco Park. In 2016, they beat the Rangers in Tatis' first game at his future home stadium. In the clubhouse afterward, Tatis addressed the team unprompted. He told his teammates not to let up in their offseason work and that he believed in the direction of the system.
"It was cool to see," Sam Geaney, the Padres director of personnel, said. "The emotional maturity and the personal growth, I think that was a point we all thought was significant -- to stand up in front of his peers and deliver that message." "This is just the beginning," Tatis said. "We've got to grind every day now." This is just the beginning -- for his own career, and perhaps the revitalization of the San Diego Padres. (Cassavell - mlb.com - 3/13/18)
Tatis learned English as a second language at school and got to practice it in the States on his summer trips to follow his dad around the big leagues. He quickly became the favorite and best interview of anyone covering the Fort Wayne TinCaps last year. The youngest player on the team at age 18, Tatis quickly became the team leader.
“From the beginning, on his first day in town, he was unfazed by the idea of holding court,” Fort Wayne broadcaster and media relations manager John Nolan said. “Answering questions about himself, his dad, his team? He was never fazed by any of it.”
As the son of a big leaguer, Tatis Jr. cruised through childhood enjoying a life that was effortless compared with that of his father. He got a top-notch education. He grew up wandering through big league clubhouses. His mother, Maria, and his father have been able to provide him everything he needed. And his neighbor, Robinson Cano, has helped as well, taking Tatis Jr. under his wing and training with him in the offseason.
Tatis Jr. will have plenty of people to celebrate with. His dreams will only be beginning, but for his parents, it will be the culmination of a life-long desire. Their son has fulfilled his dreams, and they’ve helped clear the path.
“It is very special for me. To be close to him, it’s a very special moment,” Tatis Sr. said. “Watching him play and seeing everything he can do in baseball is amazing. Every day I just want to be there for him, teaching him the right way to get there. (JJ Cooper - Baseball America - 5/04/2018)
July 2018: Tatis represented the Padres in the All-Star Futures game.
Tatis played the entirety of the 10-6 loss to the U.S. squad, contributing a pair of hits, a stolen base and a run scored.
Jan 14, 2019: It's been a while since the Padres entered a season with a highly touted youngster set for significant time at shortstop. This year, they have two. To be clear, Fernando Tatis Jr. is San Diego's shortstop of the future. Tatis is the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, and he's going to take the reins at some point this season.
But it's unlikely Tatis opens the regular season with the big league club, having only played 102 games at Double-A
But it's unlikely Tatis opens the regular season with the big league club, having only played 102 games at Double-A. In the interim, Luis Urias will probably be handed the keys at shortstop. Urias is widely believed to be Tatis' long-term double-play partner at second base, but he split time fairly evenly between second and short in the Minors before making his Major League debut in late August last season.
Urias' case to be San Diego's Opening Day shortstop received a serious boost when the Padres signed Ian Kinsler in December. The move was made, in part, to address their shortstop opening, with the front office believing Urias could shift there until Tatis' arrival.
Tatis' ebullient personality should make him an instant fan favorite in San Diego, too. (Just look at this walk-off dinger and bat flip in winter ball.) In the best-case scenario, Tatis realizes his star potential in 2019, and the Padres have a shortstop worth building a contender around -- and a budding star at second in Urias to boot. (AJ Cassavell)
July 2, 2015: Tatis, Jr. signed with the White Sox for $700,000, via scout Miguel Peguero.
“The way he carried himself was impressive,” said Padres GM A.J. Preller, who first scouted Tatis with the Rangers. “He was just a good baseball player. He had a feel for the game. You get around him and his presence is pretty impressive for such a young kid.”