San Diego Padres: Hot Talent Lava Erupts

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31: Travis Jankowski
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31: Travis Jankowski /

The San Diego Padres began their Cactus League schedule yesterday, falling to the Seattle Mariners, 3-2.

It may not have been the prettiest and it may not count for anything, but yesterday was beautiful. After a long, cold winter of nearly non-existent free agent news, the San Diego Padres returned to the field yesterday. The Friars managed to settle in after a rocky start, before dropping the final decision, 3-2.

Yes, it was only the first spring training game of the year. No, we aren’t about to over-analyze every misplayed ball and unrefined throwing motion. However, we are going to get excited about a few things from yesterday’s contest, most notably, the eruption of some #HotTalentLava.

In case you didn’t know, Fernando Tatis, Jr. is in San Diego Padres camp.

The highlight of yesterday’s contest was, without a doubt, this opposite field solo jack by everyone’s favorite prospect, Fernando Tatis.

I believe it was Mark Grant who mentioned yesterday that it looked as if Fernando Tatis had a clothes hanger under his jersey in reference to his perfectly squared and massively broad shoulders. Tatis showed off that exquisite physique in the bottom of the eighth inning, sending a ball over the right field fence.

Here was Dennis Lin’s response to the home run,

Yes Padres fans, it’s ok to be really excited over a spring training home run.

Fans also received their first glance at fellow rising-prospect, Luis Urias. What did he accomplish in his first spring training game?

After first arriving to camp, Fernando Tatis told The Athletic’s Dennis Lin that it was going to be tough for the Padres when deciding whether or not to call him up to the major league roster come September. Tatis said, “…I’m going to push. I’m going to be knocking on the door.”

Bang that door down Tatis. Turn it into a bat and put on a show for us at Petco Park.

The San Diego Padres defense appeared ready for real game action.

Outfielder Travis Jankowski got the nod in centerfield yesterday, ready to show that his foot injury from last year was behind him. Jankowski immediately impressed at the plate and in the field.

He began the contest off with a walk, yes a walk (the Padres recorded five walks yesterday, while Seattle recorded just one). Jankowski then stole second base and would score on a Carlos Asuaje RBI-single up the middle.

Later in the game, after Jose Pirela misplayed a ball in left field, Jankowski was there to record the outfield assist by gunning down the runner at third base on a beautiful throw from the outfield.

Jankowski is putting down the gauntlet early in what is going to be a high intensity battle for a small handful of roster spots for these Padres’ outfielders.

Odds and ends around the San Diego Padres basepaths.

Newly acquired RHP Tom Wilhelmsen looked good in his brief debut. He came on to pitch the third inning, quickly gave up a hit, but then settled in to induce a ground ball double play. He’s a long shot to make the major league roster, but he’s a guy I believe a large number of Padres fans are cheering for.

Lastly, the Padres may not need a backup middle infielder after all. General Manager A.J. Preller mentioned at FanFest that he was in the market for someone to backup Freddy Galvis at shortstop. Personally, I’ve been clamoring for the team to sign J.J. Hardy. However, Dusty Coleman was highly impressive yesterday with his glove.

The 30-year-old veteran made a beautiful pick play at third base in the first inning, saving what was sure to be even more early damage. Later in the contest, he charged a very good bunt put down by Dee Gordon, firing the speedster out at first base.

He may not provide a lot offensively, but neither will any remaining free agent option on the market. We’ll see how Coleman continues to perform, but he made an early impression yesterday.

Also, there was this hose job Michael Gettys,

Next: Friars On Base Interview With Randy Jones

The Padres continue their Cactus League schedule today with a contest against the Oakland Athletics. First pitch is at 12:10 pm PT and will be a radio broadcast only game.