Fernando Tatis Jr. just can't stop doing amazing things on a baseball field. The San Diego Padres shortstop launched a massive home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night that included the bat flip of the year and was dripping with swagger. In doing so he proved, yet again, that he's the most exciting player in Major League Baseball.
Here's the home run in question:
And here's another angle that shows the bat flip and his stare into his own dugout:
That home run left the bat at 112.1 mph, the hardest-hit home run of Tatis' young career. But high exit velocity isn't a rare thing for the 21-year-old. He's currently leading all MLB hitters in average velo at 97.7 mph. The highest full-season average in the Statcast era is 96 mph by Aaron Judge in 2019. So yeah, that's pretty good.
That exit velocity is paying off for Tatis, who is currently hitting .294 with four home runs, 13 RBIs and an OPS of 1.047. The young superstar has already proven he can sustain success over long periods and that this start likely isn't an anomaly. Before a back injury ended his rookie season in 2019, he was hitting .317, with 22 home runs, 53 RBI and an OPS of .969.
While Tatis looks tall and thin, his 6-foot-3, 217-pound frame is packed with power to all fields. That was evident against the San Francisco Giants during opening week when he took a low, inside fastball and somehow powered it out to right field.
Right-handed hitters have rarely been able to do that at Oracle Park.
Lest you think Tatis is just a bat, he's also an incredible fielder. While he struggled with errors on some routine plays in 2019, he had a flair for the spectacular. Some of those highlights are below.
If that's not enough, Tatis can absolutely fly and might be the best baserunner in the game.
Tatis is also clutch, the kid absolutely loves big moments. Last week in Colorado, the Padres trailed the Rockies 5-4 in the top of the ninth. There were two outs and the bases were empty when Tatis walked to the plate:
The Padres wound up winning, 8-7.
Tatis seems to do something incredible every night he steps on the field. Whether at the plate, on the bases or in the field, he's a must-watch player. I could watch his rookie highlight tape for hours.
The kid is also a blast. He's always dancing or smiling and genuinely just having fun playing baseball.
There are a ton of great young players in the game right now. Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto, Yordan Alvarez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Victor Robles are all 22 or younger and fantastic. But there's something special about the way Tatis plays the game that turns the excitement level up.
No, he's not the best player in baseball. Guys like Mike Trout, Christian Yelich, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and others are far above him on that list. But on a night-in, night-out basis, Tatis is more fun to watch than anyone in the big leagues.
Lucky for us, he'll be around for a long time.