SAN DIEGO – The Padres promoted Fernando Tatis Jr. – the youngest player to start on opening day in 20 years – largely because they knew he would be on the stage.
The 20-year shortstop with five tools wasted no time in proving it.
Tatis hit a single by the
SAN DIEGO – The Sponsored Padres
The 20-year shortstop with five tools wasted no time in proving this.
Tatis botched the left side in the second inning of their 2-0 opening win on Thursday against the Giants, his first major league goal. A rude Petco Park ̵
The single made Tatis the first 20-year-old to have had a hit on the opening day since Machado and Bryce Harper. The feat in 2013. At 20 years and 85 days, Tatis is the youngest player to have had an opening game since Adrian Beltre started in 1999, and the youngest padre ever.
"It came pretty fast, I won't lie," Tatis said before the game. "But I think I played for it, I worked for it, and here we are."
The Padres feel the same way. Tatis deserved his call, service time considerations were cursed. He was her best shortstop in spring training. And so he was in the opening event with the sixth rank. In the fourth inning, he showed his skills again by bringing out a colorful single from Bumgarner, making him the youngest on opening day with two hits since 19-year-old Robin Yount in 1975.
"This was a baseball decision and we decided to do it that way," Preller said. "Obviously, you're taking everything into account, you're taking account of the squad, the budget and the finances, but from a baseball point of view, that was the direction we wanted to go in. He makes us a better club and we wanted to reward him for that . "
Tatis is the crown jewel of the sport's high-level farming system. He is the # 2 MLB pipeline and the top shortstop. In three minor league seasons he released a slash line of .280 / .358 / .487.
The Padres were also not shy to promote their prospects. The five best guys, Chris Paddack and Francisco Mejia, also made the grade. Left-hander Nick Margevicius will make his debut on Saturday.
"They believe in us and we did the job," said Tatis. "We were not talented, we worked hard and it paid off."
It has actually paid off on one of the biggest stages of the sport.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell .