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Gammons: Tatis Jr. most exciting young player since Griffey Jr.

Bleacher Report profile features industry-wide salivation over the promise of “El Nino”

Tampa Bay Rays v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Around the All-Star break, it probably started to stick in your craw. It was at that point when Major League Baseball decided to feature two rookies—Pete Alonso of the Mets and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Jays—in the Home Run Derby. The game itself—which would see play from exactly 0 Padres players—featured several rookies on both the AL and NL rosters, including Sandy Alcantara, Mike Soroka, Brandon Lowe, and John Means.

Meanwhile, in sleepy San Diego (read: far, far away from the East Coast media centers), the Padres had a rookie baseball player exiting the first half with a .337/.407/.620 batting line buttressed by 11 homers and 28 RBI’s. This player had already made several television highlight segments with his acrobatic shortstop play, and had committed a few brave base running feats that captured the imagination of those watching.

The reserve shortstop on the All-Star team was Paul DeJong of the Cardinals, who entered the All-Star game with a .260 batting average, .345 on-base percentage and .458 slugging percentage with 13 homers and 36 RBI’s on the year.

As weeksafter the break have ensued, perhaps your craw continued to clog with nightly coverage of Pete Alonso hitting home runs in New York, while Fernando Tatis Jr., the young San Diego player left at the All-Star alter, continued to toil in brilliant obscurity.

Well, that obscurity may be nearing its end.

In a brilliant profile from Bleacher Report, Scott Miller talks about the young man who has, largely, been only ours to enjoy in 2019. In the article, Miller outlines the history of the “sugar cane chop”, the pink-accented tributes FTJ wears on his uniforms, and Tatis Jr.’s apparent supremacy to the more-hyped Vlad Guerrero Jr..

Most notably, legendary sportswriter Peter Gammons was quoted as saying the following:
“‘He’s the most exciting young player I’ve seen since Ken Griffey Jr.,’ venerated baseball journalist Peter Gammons said a few Sundays ago during batting practice at the MLB Futures Game in Cleveland, nodding toward Junior—Griffey, not Tatis—behind the cage as he spoke.”
That’s the kind of praise that makes people take note, and it looks like we may be sharing our franchise player with the rest of the country at long last. Craws: unstuck.

To check out the full article, head over to BR via this link.