Other than a total of 24 infield games during the 2021 season and seven this year in Triple-A as part of a rehabilitation stint in the minor leagues, Fernando Tatis Jr. had little experience covering the field before the Padres officially delivered on right field in front of him when he returned to the leagues. Grand on April 20th.
Judging by the defense he shows and the shots he takes, it’s safe to say that this move was completely successful.
But if there was any doubt, it was the arm of Tatis Jr., who hit Sunday’s power ball from right field in the top of the eighth inning, catching a hit from Panamanian Christian Betancourt and retiring his compatriot at the plate. Manuel Margot with what would have been a run for the Rays.
The Padres will be finished winning 5-4 for taking two of the three matches against the mighty Rays.
At 99.5 mph, it was the second-fastest pass by a player this year, second only to one at 100 mph made by … Tatis Jr. himself on May 10 against the Twins, as Carlos portrayed at home plate.
known scale arm strength, or arm strength, combines the top 10% of shots made by outfield players (at least 50 shots to qualify). There, Venezuela’s Ronald Acuna Jr. paces first with an average of 96.3 mph, tied with the Brewers’ Brian Anderson, followed by Rocky’s Brenton Doyle (96.0) and Tatis Jr. (95.0 mph).
Tatis Jr.’s pass on Sunday was his seventh of the season, breaking a tie with Acuna Jr., Nick Castellanos and Lynn Thomas to remain the only league leader in that division.
Tatis only made two errors in the right field and ranks high on many recent metrics. Among football players in 2023, before Sunday’s game, he was tied for second in Outs Above Statcast Average (OAA) at six, just one behind the lead shared by Louis Robert, Kevin Kiermayer of the Blue Jays and Joey Wiemer of the Brewers Team. He is also first in Total Zone Runs (Baseball-Reference) with a score of 12 and third in UZR (FanGraphs) with a 4.9.
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