January 20, 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr. Enters the Stratosphere (FanGraphs)

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the superstar baseball needs in 2020. Countering the multitude of anxieties that come with enjoying baseball amid the coronavirus pandemic, his towering home runs, bat flips, and celebratory dancing are as pure a distillation of the joy and excitement as the game can provide right now. Limited to 84 games in his rookie season due to injuries, the buoyant 21-year-old shortstop is off to a red-hot start, propelling an engaging Padres team to a 10-7 record while lighting up social media along the way. Unless you’re an opposing pitcher, it’s nearly impossible not to break out in a smile watching Tatis play.

On Sunday, Tatis crossed paths with a hanging curveball from the Diamondbacks’ Madison Bumgarner. Left fielder David Peralta couldn’t even be bothered to turn around to view the damage:

Admittedly, it wasn’t Bumgarner’s day — he served up a career-high four home runs in just two innings before departing due to back spasms — but it ran Tatis’ streak of consecutive games with a homer to four. The streak ended on Monday night at the hands of the Dodgers, who held him to 1-for-4 with an infield single, but the Padres’ 2-1 victory…

Read “Fernando Tatis Jr. Enters the Stratosphere” at FanGraphs