Fernando Tatís Jr. didn’t need long to become one of baseball’s bright new faces.
Younger baseball fans may not be familiar with Fernando Tatís Sr., the shortstop’s father. Who was Fernando Sr., and how good was he when he played? Let’s take a look.
Fernando Tatís Jr. is a star shortstop for the San Diego Padres
A 6-foot-3, 217-pound shortstop from the Dominican Republic, Fernando Tatís Jr. is among baseball’s best young players. Although he signed with the Chicago White Sox as a 16-year-old in 2015, the team surprisingly traded him to San Diego in June 2016 for veteran pitcher James Shields.
Chicago has to be regretting that trade daily. Tatís burst onto the scene when he hit .317 with 22 home runs, 53 RBIs, and stole 16 bases in 84 games last year.
Various injuries, including a hamstring ailment and a back problem, limited him to just 84 games. Tatís finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
The young superstar has taken well to the shortened 2020 season, hitting .294 with four home runs and 13 RBIs through August 7.
The only knocks on Tatís, although they’re significant, are his plate discipline — he struck out 110 times as a rookie and 21 times in his first 51 at-bats — and defense. Tatís made 18 errors as a rookie but didn’t commit one in his first 13 games this year.
Fernando Sr. played for various MLB teams
Older baseball fans likely felt their age when they saw Fernando Tatís Jr. debut in 2018. His father, Fernando Sr., played 11 seasons for various teams. Tatís hit .265 with 113 home runs and 448 RBIs in a season that spanned from 1997 to 2010.
The third baseman-turned-outfielder did most of his damage in 1999, when he hit .198 with 34 home runs, 107 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases for the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis traded Tatís to the Expos in December 2000 for pitchers Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline. Tatís bounced around the league after that. He resurfaced with an 11-home run season for the Mets in 2008 and played his final big league game for the Aamzin’s in 2010.
The older Tatís is best known for his two-grand slam game
Fernando Tatís Sr.’s crowning moment in the majors his son will likely never achieve. In fact, since it happened, no other player has accomplished the feat.
Tatís stepped to the plate in the third inning with the bases loaded against Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park. The young third baseman hit a grand slam.
Later in the inning, Tatís stepped to the plate with the bases loaded against Park. Just as he did earlier, Tatís hit another grand slam.
Fernando Tatís Jr. is already arguably better than his father
Fernando Tatís Sr. played far more seasons than his son has to this point. But Fernando Jr. is quickly approaching his father’s numbers, both traditionally and with analytics.
Fernando Sr. was somehow only worth 6.3 Wins Above Replacement in his career, according to Baseball-Reference.
Fernando Jr. is already at an even 5.0 WAR through 97 career games.
The Tatís family appears likely to enjoy at least a decade of success on the baseball field. Soon enough, they may get to finally experience a World Series title.