A fracture in his left thumb limited shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to just 88 games at Double-A San Antonio. Still, the sample was impressive for a 19-year-old who was the youngest player in the Texas League on Opening Day.
Tatis rebounded from a concerning April (.564 OPS) to pen a .327/.400/.572 batting line over his final 64 games. The No. 2 overall prospect in baseball, he finished the season with career highs in batting average (.286) and slugging (.507), paired 16 home runs with 16 stolen bases and took a star turn at the Futures Game.
His status as the Padres’ shortstop of the not-too-distant future unquestioned, Tatis is expected to recover fully by spring training and could push for a big league callup in 2019.
As dominant as righthander Chris Paddack was in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, and as eye-opening as righty Luis Patino’s season was at low Class A Fort Wayne, lefthander Logan Allen turned in the best wire-to-wire campaign in a pitching-rich organization.
The 21-year-old Allen led the organization in wins (14) and strikeouts (151), tied for the most innings (148.2) and set new personal full-season standards for ERA (2.54), WHIP (1.08) and opponent average (.205).
What’s more, Allen went 4-0, 1.63 in five starts in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League after a dominant stay at San Antonio earned him Texas league pitcher of the year honors.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Of the more than $80 million in bonuses and overage taxes the Padres invested in their 2016-17 international signing class, the modest $320,000 given to shortstop Tucupita Marcano looks like quite the value play.
The 18-year-old Venezuelan hit .395 in 35 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League and hit his first professional homer after a promotion to short-season Tri-City. All told, he hit .366/.450/.438 with 15 steals, 30 walks and 16 strikeouts in 52 games.
Signed in the shadows of Cubans Adrian Morejon and Jorge Ona, Marcano’s chief task heading into full-season ball next year at Fort Wayne is to continue to add strength to a 6-foot, 160-pound frame, because he is showing indicators that he could be a plus big league bat.
“He plays with a chip on his shoulder,” said Chris Kemp, who doubles as international scouting director and minor league field coordinator. “He has to prove something. He wasn’t a high-paid guy. He’s not the biggest guy, but there’s some fight in there. He knows how to use the barrel and play the game. He’s a winning baseball player.”