The San Diego Padres are looking to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. However, that might not be as promising, according to PECOTA. PECOTA has projected the Padres to win 79 games this season, leaving them below .500 for another season. Their best hope of a playoff run would be to make the Wild Card as the Los Angeles Dodgers are the front runner to win the NL West, and win the National League this season. They have a a young team, and one of the best farm systems in baseball. One of those future faces is none other than Fernando Tatis Jr., who finished third in the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Tatis Jr. is going to be the face of this team, and will help them contend for a long time.
Overall, the Padres lineup still needs some as they are projected to score 4.66 runs per game this season. Tatis Jr. will be a big part of it, but will also need help from Manny Machado, Tommy Pham, Eric Hosmer, and others.
Tatis’ turn … only contact for anyone off Gore was foul-offs and grounders pic.twitter.com/WJrkqVmw4N
— Jeff Sanders (@sdutSanders) February 19, 2020
Fernando Tatis Jr. has incredible upside to his game. He was one of the best prospects in baseball before finally get the call to the majors last season. He’s a five-tool player with great athleticism. Tatis Jr. will be a breakout star this season, and could be one of the best shortstops in the game. Right now, Lineups has Tatis Jr. projected as the fourth best shortstop in fantasy baseball. Outside of injuries, Tatis Jr. should be an everyday player, and will get over 600 plate appearances this season. Last year, he hit a slash line of .317/.379/.590 in his rookie season. Now, those numbers will be hard to replicate in 2020, but ESPN has him projected at 543 fantasy points, and an average draft position of 38. MLB superstars keeping breaking out at younger ages, and it shouldn’t be a surprise if Tatis Jr. does it this season.
There could be a big jump in power for Tatis Jr this season as well. Last year, he hit 22 home runs in 84 games. If he can put up those number consistently this year, he could be close to a 40 home run hitter, which will be a great way to rack up points on a weekly basis.
Depending on where you look, Fernando Tatis Jr. has pretty high projections across the board. According to Fangraphs ZiPS projections, is expected to hit .281 with a WAR of 2.8 this season. His batting average will most likely drop, but .281 is nothing to be concerned with. Plus, the way the ZiPS projections are done, they have Tatis Jr. only playing 96 games. This will most likely be higher (pending injuries) because he did miss the last six weeks of last season, and just be able to complete an 162 game season in 2020. If he is healthy all of 2020, expect his WAR to be closer to four, and accumulate 500+ fantasy points during the season.
The biggest concern I have has the Padres roster construction. Tatis Jr. is going to be the best player on this team, and it would help if he gets some help around him in the lineup. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer fell off a cliff in terms of production last season. If they aren’t able to protect Tatis Jr. in the lineup this year, then opponents could easily pitch around Tatis Jr. to face lesser players in the San Diego lineup. Tatis Jr. should still get his numbers, but it is worth noting the overall talent on their roster.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has great value because of his age. Depending on the number of members in your league, Tatis Jr. should be available in the third or fourth round of a snake draft. He has the potential to be one of the best players in fantasy baseball this season, and he will be available after picking up the superstars in the first few rounds. Also, if you are in a keeper league I would suggest picking him as soon as possible. He was one of the best prospects in baseball for a reason, and put it on display last year. Tatis Jr. will be great for years to come, and it would be wise to keep him on your roster for as long as possible.
Some value Tatis Jr. might have is scoring more runs than expected this year. The Padres are towards the bottom in projected runs scored at 4.66 in 2020. However, Tatis Jr. might be able to bump that up a bit if he does get help in the lineup if he gets on. He has the speed to stretch the base path, and score from anywhere. This could add some extra value in overall runs, if the Padres are playing a team that has a pitcher that can’t find the strike zone, or if their opponents defense is below average.
Looking at his 2019 numbers, Tatis Jr. didn’t really having any glaring weakness. Yes, he almost struck out 30 percent of the time, but that’s normal for a young player, especially in this era of baseball. His ISO power, and BABIP were both high sitting at .272 and .410 respectively. Those should be expected to come just a little bit this season, which could alter his numbers a little bit. One thing the projections might not take into consideration is a full season’s worth. Some projections might have him as playing half a season, since he only played 84 games last year. However, if he is healthy for all of 2020, then he will play in 140+ games.
Also, he should be a guy that contributes over 500 points for your team as well. A majority of the points will most likely come from home runs and runs scored. He has the speed to score on routine balls to the outfield, and has the power to hit 30-35 homeruns this season. Lineups has him projected to hit 37.6 homeruns this season, which feels too low. All in all, Tatis Jr. is a great talent and will be a big contributor in fantasy.
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