X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Fernando Tatis Jr: Budding Star or Overvalued Too Soon?

Major League Baseball has seen a much-needed influx of bright young stars over the past two seasons, including Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto. A third top prospect, Fernando Tatis Jr., also fits that description but seems to get less attention than the other two, probably due to playing for a small-market, west coast club.

The San Diego Padres and their fans, however, know the heights Tatis could reach after he authored a .317/.379/.590 (153 OPS+) season last year.

Tatis played just over half the season (more on that below), but still managed to club 22 homers while adding 53 RBI, 61 runs, 13 doubles, six triples, and 16 stolen bases. That was all before he could legally buy a beer. Heading into his age-21 season, Tatis is already one of the brightest stars in the game and is being drafted accordingly. He currently holds an average draft position (ADP) of 18th overall in NFBC drafts since July 1.

Featured Promo: Get any MLB Premium Pass FREE ($119 value) AND up to a $200 deposit match when you sign up with Rival Fantasy. Rival offers 6 and 12-team Best Ball, weekly and daily contests, for as little as $3 per entry. No roster management, just draft and Rival sets your best lineup automatically. Playing fantasy baseball has never been easier! Sign Up Today!

But is Tatis worthy of that status after just 84 games above Double-A? Or will the abbreviated 2020 season be his stepping stone to superstardom throughout the next decade? Let's break it down.

 

Prospect Pedigree

Tatis has been one of the top prospects in baseball for some time. Signed by the White Sox as an international free agent when he was just 16, Tatis was traded to San Diego before playing a professional game. Since then, he has anchored a farm system that has been ranked among the best in baseball for what feels like an eternity considering San Diego hasn't done much at the Major League level while hoarding those prospects.

Tatis mashed throughout the Minor Leagues, posting double-digit homers and steals in both of his full seasons in Single A and Double-A. His rate stats were just as impressive posting slugging percentages over .500 in both seasons.

Last season in the Majors, we finally got some Statcast data on the youngster and his metrics backed up what the scouts were hyping.

As we can see, Tatis ranked in the top-10 percent of the league in sprint speed and barrel percentage (13.2%) while also being well above-average in exit velocity (90.4 MPH) and hard-hit rate (44.1%). When he makes contact, it is usually productive based on these numbers.

However, these numbers also show Tatis' one glaring weakness: He strikes out way too much, especially for a guy that the Padres expect to occupy the leadoff spot.

Tatis seemed to struggle against offspeed pitches in his first taste of the Majors. He batted just .253 vs breaking pitches and .191 vs changeups last season, according to BaseballSavant. Not surprisingly, he had a below-average 31.9 percent swing rate on pitches outside the strike zone. He'll need to improve in that regard to take the next step to stardom, but it is also an opportunity to take a glass-half-full approach with Tatis.

Tatis batted .317 last season while striking out 29.6 percent of the time. Sure his average was inflated a little by a .410 BABIP, but that isn't as outrageous as it appears given his elite speed and how hard he hits the ball. Expect him to be more selective in his second taste of Major League pitching, and if he can take that next step in his development, a .300 BA should be his floor throughout his prime years.

 

Playing Time Concerns

The main issue Tatis faces when justifying his lofty ADP would be injuries. As a general rule, I don't penalize players for missing time due to injury when evaluating them the next season. That being said, Tatis' aggressive style of play could put him at a higher risk of injury, as it did last season.

Tatis missed multiple stretches last season. He missed time from late April through early June with a strained hamstring that he suffered while stretching for a ball at second base. His season was ended in mid-August thanks to a back injury that felt like it was bound to happen eventually given how often he dives for balls in the field and his aggressive style of baserunning.

The Padres said that they don't want to limit Tatis' aggressiveness; playing as hard as he does is what turns doubles into triples and affords additional bases. You have to take the bad with the good with young players as his aggressiveness leads to the elite production that we detailed earlier. Still, it's something fantasy managers need to keep in mind when considering Tatis with an early-round pick.

Overall though, Tatis can't be considered significantly higher of an injury risk than most players. He is still just 21 years old and said that he plans on playing all 60 games this season, whereas older players may need a day off here or there. The DH coming to the National League could help as well, because if he does get banged up at some point, the Padres could keep his bat in the lineup while providing half a day off.

 

Conclusion

Tatis is one of the brightest young stars in the game and should put up elite numbers in his sophomore campaign. RotoBaller projections (below) have his average taking a bit of a dip, but he should score plenty of runs leading off for a sneaky-good Padres lineup while being one of only a handful of players projected to put up double-digit home runs and steals.

Last season, Tatis was one of just 11 players to hit at least 22 homers and steal 16 bases; the 10 other players to reach those marks all had at least 140 more at-bats. Tatis is a slam-dunk five-category contributor who could be drafted as early as the end of round 1, as he was in our most recent RotoBaller expert's mock draft.

Any player could get hurt, but very few could match the numbers he could put up. In a shortened season, Tatis' upside is well worth any risk associated with him. If he plays most of the season, Tatis is a potential MVP candidate and a worthy early-round pick to build your fantasy team around.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!




More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Alex Lyon59 mins ago

Getting The Starting Nod Monday
Charlie Lindgren1 hour ago

Making Fifth Straight Start Monday
Eloy Jiménez1 hour ago

Eloy Jimenez Back From Injured List
Boone Jenner1 hour ago

Practices Monday
Framber Valdez1 hour ago

Plays Catch Monday
Adam Fantilli2 hours ago

Practices Monday
Giancarlo Stanton2 hours ago

Getting A Breather Monday
Rasmus Sandin2 hours ago

Skates In Non-Contact Jersey Monday
2 hours ago

Lane Hutson To Make NHL Debut Monday
Alex Bregman2 hours ago

Back In Action Monday
Salvador Perez2 hours ago

Not Playing Monday
Erik Swanson2 hours ago

Jordan Romano, Erik Swanson Likely To Return Tuesday
Danny Jansen2 hours ago

Activated From The Injured List
Corey Seager2 hours ago

Absent From Monday's Lineup
Brock Bowers4 hours ago

Visiting With Jets
Sonny Gray4 hours ago

Will Be Limited To 75 Pitches In Monday’s Start
NBA4 hours ago

Ja’Kobe Walter Declares For NBA Draft
J.J. McCarthy4 hours ago

Patriots Visiting With J.J. McCarthy On Monday
Max Meyer4 hours ago

Optioned To Minors
Lonnie Walker4 hours ago

IV Noncommittal On Future With Nets
Daniel Jones4 hours ago

Plan Is For Daniel Jones To Be Fully Cleared For Training Camp
Vit Krejci4 hours ago

Hawks Hope To Keep Vit Krejci This Offseason
Aaron Rodgers4 hours ago

Reports For Voluntary Workouts
Kris Bryant4 hours ago

Out Of Rockies’ Lineup On Monday
Indianapolis Colts4 hours ago

Colts, DeForest Buckner Agree To Two-Year Extension
Giannis Antetokounmpo4 hours ago

“Up In The Air” For Game 1
Rashee Rice4 hours ago

To Be Virtual To Start Offseason Program
Tyler O'Neill4 hours ago

Exits Monday's Game After Collision
CeeDee Lamb4 hours ago

Not Expected To Attend Start Of Voluntary Program
Grayson Allen4 hours ago

Lands Four-Year Extension With Suns
Justin Jefferson4 hours ago

Doesn't Report For Voluntary Workouts
Andrew Copp4 hours ago

A Game-Time Decision Monday
ANA5 hours ago

Ducks Sign Cutter Gauthier To Entry-Level Deal
Joseph Woll5 hours ago

To Start Tuesday
Calle Jarnkrok5 hours ago

Questionable For Game 1
Alex Pereira5 hours ago

Defends Light-Heavyweight Title At UFC 300
Max Domi5 hours ago

Out Tuesday, Unlikely For Wednesday
Jamahal Hill5 hours ago

Knocked Out At UFC 300
Bobby McMann5 hours ago

To Miss Final Two Regular Season Games
Yan Xiaonan5 hours ago

Unsuccessful In Bid To Capture UFC Title
Arman Tsarukyan5 hours ago

Edges Out Competitive Decision At UFC 300
Charles Oliveira6 hours ago

Drops Decision Matchup
Kodai Senga6 hours ago

To Throw Off A Mound Soon
J.D. Martinez6 hours ago

To Resume Swinging Monday
Corbin Carroll6 hours ago

Avoids Injury On Sunday
Alexander Canario6 hours ago

Being Called Up By Cubs
Jake Burger6 hours ago

Going On Injured List
NASCAR8 hours ago

Bubba Wallace Finishes Seventh At Texas Motor Speedway
Marcelo Mayer8 hours ago

On Fire To Start The Season
DeVonta Smith8 hours ago

Eagles Sign DeVonta Smith To Three-Year Extension
Kyle Busch8 hours ago

Earns Top 10 Finish In Backup Car At Texas Motor Speedway
Chase Elliott9 hours ago

Emerges Victorious in Texas Race Riddled with Cautions
William Byron9 hours ago

Finishes Third at Texas After Wrecking Ross Chastain
Ross Chastain9 hours ago

Gets Wrecked on Final Lap at Texas While Battling for the Lead
Kyle Larson9 hours ago

Sees Dominant Day Slip Away at Texas Due To Loose Wheel
Nikola Jokic9 hours ago

Wraps Up Regular Season With 68th Double-Double
Bradley Beal9 hours ago

Leads Phoenix Into Playoffs With 36-Point Effort
Myles Turner9 hours ago

Dominates Against Hawks
Max Strus9 hours ago

Records First Career Triple-Double
CJ McCollum9 hours ago

Remains Hot For Pelicans Ahead Of Play-In
Brandon Ingram10 hours ago

Returns With Efficient Performance
LeBron James10 hours ago

Notches 112th Career Triple-Double
NASCAR13 hours ago

Daniel Suárez the Luckiest Driver at Texas, Scores Top Five
Denny Hamlin13 hours ago

Late Spinout Costs Denny Hamlin Likely Second-Place Finish
Ty Gibbs13 hours ago

Had Speed at Texas, But Burnt by Pit Crew
Ryan Blaney14 hours ago

Was Best Ford Driver Until Wreck With Ryan Preece
Jonatan Clase18 hours ago

Will Join Mariners On Monday
Tyler Reddick19 hours ago

Earns Hard-Fought Fourth Place Finish At Texas
Austin Dillon19 hours ago

Gains His Best Finish Of The Year At Texas
Carson Hocevar19 hours ago

Rounds Out Top Ten At Texas
Joel Embiid19 hours ago

Will "Be Ready To Go" For Play-In
Chase Briscoe20 hours ago

Ends Up Sixth At Texas
Davante Adams20 hours ago

Plans To Remain In Vegas
Miami Dolphins20 hours ago

Jaelan Phillips Seemingly Believes He'll Be Ready For Week 1
Tee Higgins20 hours ago

Plans To Play For The Bengals In 2024-25
Anthony Davis24 hours ago

Exits Sunday's Game
Tyler O'Neill1 day ago

Smacks Seventh Homer On Sunday
Jalen Brunson1 day ago

Drops Another 40 Points
Gerrit Cole1 day ago

Plays Catch For Second Time
Tyrese Haliburton1 day ago

Gets A Double-Double On Sunday
Payton Pritchard1 day ago

Has Another Stellar Performance
Jordan Love1 day ago

Expected To Get A Lucrative Contract
Jared Goff1 day ago

Expected To Receive Big Money
Brandon Aiyuk1 day ago

Reportedly Hasn't Asked For A Trade
Christopher Bell1 day ago

Is A Great Tournament Option At Texas
Kyle Busch1 day ago

Starts From the Rear After Texas Practice Crash
Chase Elliott1 day ago

Should Chase Elliott Be Rostered In DFS For Texas?
Ty Gibbs1 day ago

Can Ty Gibbs Score His First Win At Texas?
Cody Brundage1 day ago

Gets Submitted At UFC 300
Todd Gilliland1 day ago

Is A Quality Value Play For Texas
Bo Nickal1 day ago

Remains Undefeated At UFC 300
Denny Hamlin1 day ago

Will Start 11th At Texas On Sunday
Ryan Preece1 day ago

Brings Continued Upside To Texas
Justin Gaethje1 day ago

Gets KO'd At UFC 300
Max Holloway1 day ago

Scores Highlight-Reel KO At UFC 300
Zhang Weili1 day ago

Retains Strawweight Title At UFC 300
Obi Toppin2 days ago

Questionable For Sunday Versus Atlanta
Damian Lillard2 days ago

Listed As Probable For Sunday
Jalen Smith2 days ago

Questionable For Sunday's Contest
Jordan Poole2 days ago

Questionable For Sunday’s Game
CeeDee Lamb2 days ago

Cowboys Haven't Had "Substantial Talks"
Joe Burrow3 days ago

Confident He'll Stay Healthy
Brandon Aiyuk3 days ago

Unfollows Niners On Social Media
Rashee Rice3 days ago

Surrenders To Police
Alex Pereira3 days ago

Set For First Light Heavyweight Title Defense
Jamahal Hill3 days ago

Faces Alex Pereira In The Main Event Of UFC 300
Yan Xiaonan3 days ago

Set For A Title Shot At UFC 300
Charles Oliveira3 days ago

Returns To Action On UFC 300 Main Card
Arman Tsarukyan3 days ago

Has A Tough Test In Front Of Him
Laurent Brossoit3 days ago

Shuts Out Stars With 24 Saves
Lucas Raymond3 days ago

Erupts For Four Points
Sidney Crosby3 days ago

Enters Top 10 On NHL's All-Time Scoring List
Sergei Bobrovsky3 days ago

Logs Sixth Shutout Of The Season
Timo Meier3 days ago

Notches Three Points In Win Over Toronto
Noah Dobson3 days ago

Sustains An Upper-Body Injury
Cody Brundage4 days ago

A Massive Underdog At UFC 300
Bo Nickal4 days ago

Puts Undefeated Record On The Line
Max Holloway4 days ago

Moves Back Up To Lightweight At UFC 300
Justin Gaethje4 days ago

Puts BMF Belt On The Line At UFC 300
Zhang Weili4 days ago

Defends Strawweight Title At UFC 300
Tom Brady4 days ago

Won't Rule Out Return To NFL
Treylon Burks4 days ago

Has To Earn It In 2024
Connor Hellebuyck4 days ago

Connor HelleBuyck Getting A Breather Thursday
Timothy Liljegren4 days ago

Could Return Before Postseason
Igor Shesterkin4 days ago

Getting A Rest Day Thursday
Jason Day5 days ago

Heads To Augusta After Rough March Stretch
Sepp Straka5 days ago

Save Yourself The Heartache And Don't Play Sepp Straka At The Masters
Bryson DeChambeau5 days ago

: The Battle Of Form Versus Recent History
Dustin Johnson5 days ago

Is A True Wild Card At Augusta
Patrick Cantlay5 days ago

Lost With His Irons Of Late
Rory McIlroy5 days ago

In Good Form Heading To Augusta
Keegan Bradley5 days ago

Coming To Augusta National With Ice-Cold Putter
Nicolai Hojgaard5 days ago

Looking For Putter At Augusta National
Tiger Woods5 days ago

Set To Make Another Start At The Masters
Nick Taylor6 days ago

A Boring Play At The Masters
Akshay Bhatia6 days ago

Earns Last Remaining Invite To The Masters
Tom Kim6 days ago

Looking For Turnaround At Year's First Major
Sahith Theegala6 days ago

Making Second Start At Augusta National
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF