Padres: How Fernando Tatis Jr. compares to other top shortstops

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Jim Bowden of The Athletic ranked the best shortstops in baseball, and the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. comes in at number five.

Fernando Tatis Jr. may have the most potential of any young player on the Padres‘ roster. So it’s not a surprise that he comes in as one of the best shortstops in the game. Jim Bowden of The Athletic has been ranking the best players, by position, and Tatis lands at number five.

He gets right to the point, noting that it’s just a matter of time before the Padres’ superstar stands at the top of this list. But right now, he has Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Trevor Story, and Xander Bogaerts ahead of him, in that order. Tatis’ 2019 season was hampered by injuries, but he still managed to smack 22 bombs in just 84 games.

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The biggest knocks on Tatis right now are his strikeout percentage and his defense. In comparison to the other four players above him on this list, Bogaerts was the lone player to make his major league debut at age 20.

And while his sample size is limited to just 18 games, he posted nearly the same strikeout rate as Tatis. Six years later and Bogaerts has drastically reduced his K-rate, falling in line with the league average of 17.7 percent.

In general, the other players have improved their strikeout rates as they get further into their careers. Lindor is the only exception where he started low and has remained there. If Tatis follows a similar path as Bogaerts, he will post a 30+ home run and 100+ RBI season by the time he’s 26. However, many believe he can accomplish that in a shorter timeframe.

But while he can make all the plays in the field, his defense was a huge concern last year. He committed 18 errors; four fielding and 14 throwing errors. Both should improve as the game slows down for him, which will also make him that much more dangerous at the plate.