Padres Manager: Fernando Tatis Jr.'s Talent 'Undeniable' After $340M Contract

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2021

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2020, file photo, San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. throws to first for the out on Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts during the first inning in Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series in Arlington, Texas. Tatis has agreed to a 14-year deal that will keep the shortstop with the Padres until he's 35 years old, according to two people familiar with the situation. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler appears happy his team was able to lock down Fernando Tatis Jr. with a reported 14-year extension.  

"I think the talent is undeniable," Tingler said of Tatis, per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. "The more you're around him, the organization, the scouts, the minor league guys, the major league coaches, his teammates—it's just a consistent theme. His drive to win, his drive to improve."

Tatis will reportedly make $340 million on his new 14-year deal, which was agreed to Wednesday, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

This could be considered a significant risk for a 22-year-old player with only 143 games of major league experience, but the team clearly has faith he will continue to produce as his career progresses.

Despite a small sample size, Tatis has been a star so far in his professional career.

The shortstop finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2019 despite being limited to just 84 games, ending the season with 22 home runs, 16 stolen bases and a .317 average.

He was just as good in 2020 with 17 home runs, 11 stolen bases and a .937 OPS in 59 games during the shortened season. He was fourth in NL MVP voting after helping the Padres earn the second-best record in the league.

Add his quality defense at a premier position and Tatis ended the year seventh among position players with 2.8 wins above replacement, per Baseball Reference

Tingler appreciates everything he brings to the organization, both on and off the field.

"The way he runs, the way he moves, the way he can hit for power, hit all directions, the work ethic, seeing him consistently improve in a lot of areas in the game, certainly defensively, and then the way he plays the game, with just such a fun spirit, the way his teammates view him, the way he treats other people—all those factors," the manager said.