Fernando Tatis Jr., the scintillating rookie who has lit Major League Baseball on fire, is likely done for the season. The San Diego Padres have placed Tatis on the injured list with a back injury and appear ready to err on the side of caution instead of bringing him back in September.
At just 20 years old, Tatis has put together a remarkable season. If he doesn’t return this year, he’ll finish hitting .317 with 22 home runs, 53 RBI and an OPS of .969, which would rank ninth in all of baseball. He put up those numbers despite missing a few weeks earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.
Tatis has also posted an fWAR of 3.7 and 16 stolen bases all while making eye-popping defensive plays on a near-nightly basis.
Here are just a few recent examples:
This isn’t just a bummer for the Padres, it’s a bummer for all of baseball. Tatis was well on his way to securing the title of “Most Exciting Player in Baseball” and had proved he could make spectacular plays offensively and defensively.
In baseball history, only three players have posted a higher OPS in their age-20 season:
Before Tatis, only Alex Rodriguez had hit 20 home runs in a season at shortstop before turning 21:
And there’s this:
I could go on with this for hours, but the bottom line is that Tatis made a ton of history in his first season. There’s plenty more to come and with the Padres currently out of the playoff chase there’s no reason to bring him back.