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15.04.2019 04:08
San Diego Padres prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. an Antworten

PEORIA Hyun-Jin Ryu Jersey , Ariz. (AP) — d Kansas City Royals counterpart Adalberto Mondesi have never met, even though their life stories suggest a cup of coffee is long overdue.They would certainly have a lot to talk about.Each of their clubs is counting on their dynamic young shortstop to form the cornerstone of a rebuild that could push them back to the postseason. Both have roots in the Dominican Republic, have fathers that played in the big leagues, and both possess the kind of five-tool stardom at one of the game’s premier position that leaves scouts and front-office executives in a tizzy.“On the field, off the field, how they handle themselves in the locker room — I saw both of those guys when they were 18, 19 years old in a big league locker room, and they fit right in,” said Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, who prior to San Diego had spent his entire career in Kansas City.“They have a different swagger, a whole different confidence,” Hosmer told The Associated Press. “It’s almost like they pictured this moment as a kid, being big league players.”They probably did.Tatis grew up bouncing around clubhouses in Texas, St. Louis, Montreal and Boston before his father, Fernando Tatis, wrapped up his 11-year career with the New York Mets. While never a star , the elder Tatis did bat .265 over his career, hit 34 homers in a season for the Cardinals and once connected for two grand slams in an inning.He broke into the big leagues at 22 years old, setting a bar that his powerful, precocious son could beat by two full years if he arrives later this summer.Or later this spring, for that matter. Junior has a valuable supporter to break camp with the Padres in third baseman Manny Machado, who signed a $300 million contract this offseason. The two could form a formidable left side of the infield, and Machado is so confident in the young upstart’s future that he’s embraced a return to third base even though he’d rather play shortstop himself.“That’s a hell of an infield we’d have,” Machado said. “He’s a baller. He can play a little bit. I don’t want him to blow up too much but he can play. He’s a special player and he wants to get better, and he wants to prove he’s the best player in the game.”Tatis still has a long way to go in that respect.The 20-year-old shortstop hit .286 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs at Double-A San Antonio last season, but he has just 102 games under his belt at that level. So even though he’s raking in the Cactus League this spring, the reality is some time at Triple-A El Paso makes sense.Regardless of Machado’s lobbying.“We’re a different team if he’s in the lineup,” the four-time All-Star said. “If he’s in there, we’re going to be a dangerous team, and we’re all rooting for him to break camp with us.”When it comes to Mondesi, there is no such question.The first player in more than 100 years to make his big league debut in the World Series, when he appeared in the 2015 Fall Classic as a 19-year-old, the son of Raul Mondesi has weathered a rocky start to his career. He was a staple among the Royals’ top prospects for years Mike Piazza Jersey , but his first two chances in Kansas City went so poorly that he was shuttled back to the minors.He hit just .185 in 47 games in 2016. He hit .170 in 25 games the following season.But everything finally clicked last year, when Mondesi torched the Pacific Coast League at Triple-A Omaha to earn another shot with the Royals. And this time Mondesi made good on it, hitting .276 with 14 homers, 37 RBIs and 32 steals in just 275 plate appearances over the course of 75 games.“We haven’t met yet,” Tatis said of Mondesi, even though their teams occasionally play each other in Cactus League games, and they work out just down Bell Road from each other in Arizona.The Padres camp in the Peoria and the Royals in Surprise.“I’d be glad to be compared to him,” Tatis added. “He’s already a really good ballplayer.”Good enough to convince the Royals to let longtime shortstop Alcides Escobar sign elsewhere in free agency, and turn the full-time job over to a player they always considered their future.“He just made such great progress last year,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I was really proud of him at the end of the year. When he first came up to the big leagues I was nervous about overusing him, because he’s always been a bit injury-prone. I wanted to make sure I didn’t pile on the days.“With a month to go he said, ‘You don’t ask me how I feel. I’m going to play every single game. I’m ready,'” Yost continued. “That’s a big step, to get yourself ready to go out there, because there is a lot of wear and tear on his body being that type of athlete. There’s diving around. There’s a lot of sliding into second base. There’s a lot of quick-twitch movements that take a toll.”Mondesi’s father was an All-Star for the Dodgers early in his career, and proceeded to hit .273 over 13 seasons with seven different clubs. Those are solid numbers for anybody, but a benchmark that everyone in the Royals organization expects his son to surpass.There’s at least one person in the Padres organization who expects it , too.“You just don’t see the tools those guys have, especially at premium positions like shortstop,” Hosmer said, shaking his head. “It’s something that’s extremely valuable. There’s a reason both guys are so highly touted. They have tools that change the game from every spot. They check every box.” Winning the wild-card game doesn't guarantee postseason success in Major League Baseball, but it does strike up important doses of confidence and momentum moving into the divisional series.Since the wild-card game was introduced in 2012, two winners have gone on to play in the World Series, with the 2014 San Francisco Giants being the only wild-card winner to win a championship.The wild-card winners from the past two years have experienced a mixed bag of results, as both American League winners advanced to the ALCS, while the victors out of the National League won one combined game in the NLDS.All four participants in the 2018 wild-card games have been at this stage before, but only the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees won the winner-takes-all contest in previous seasons. Wild-Card ScheduleTuesday, October 2Colorado at Chicago Cubs (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN or ESPN app) Wednesday, October 3Oakland at New York Yankees (8 p.m. ET, TBS, Watch TBS app) PicksCubs over RockiesOn paper, there are plenty of factors suggesting the Chicago Cubs will get another shot at the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS.The Cubs have home-field advantage for Tuesday's NL wild-card game Chase Utley Jersey , carry a plethora of postseason experience from winning the World Series in 2016 and have Jon Lester starting against the Colorado Rockies.In case you needed anything else to sway your pick, the Cubs have experience from winning a wild-card game in 2015, while the Rockies came up short a year ago in Arizona.However, it's that defeat from 2017 and the loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West tiebreaker Monday that could give the Rockies the necessary motivation to rally around each other and upset the Cubs at Wrigley Field.In order for the Rockies to achieve success, Charlie Blackmon must set the tone at the top of the order and stop Lester from getting into a rhythm on the mound.Rick Scuteri/Associated PressAlthough his regular-season batting average slipped under .300 for the first time since 2015, Blackmon recorded 314 total bases, 182 hits and scored 119 runs.It doesn't matter how Blackmon reaches base in the first inning, he just needs to be standing on first base with the opportunity to be advanced.If the Rockies are able to put a few runners on base in the first few innings, their power hitters like Nolan Arenado should drive in a run or two.The Cubs won't be facing a postseason legend, but they'll need to follow a similar game plan at the plate by placing runners on base early and often.Chicago is third in the MLB in batting average and on-base percentage, but it managed three hits against the Brewers Monday.Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated PressAs long as the top of the Cubs' order gets to Kyle Freeland, they should set up a rematch with the Brewers, but if things go the way they did Monday, it might be a nervy nine innings for Cubs fans.Yankees over AthleticsThere's a decent chance the AL wild-card game turns in a home run derby in the first inning.The Yankees and Athletics were two of the top three home-run hitting teams in the regular season, as they combined to hit 494 balls over the fence.If Wednesday's game was just a home-run hitting contest between Khris Davis and Giancarlo Stanton, we'd be okay with that as well.Ben Margot/Associated PressGiven the quality of sluggers on each roster, Wednesday could be difficult on both pitching staffs , even if everyone available is on at least two days of rest.In the six regular-season meetings between the Yankees and Athletics, the victorious side scored at least five runs.In those contests, an average of 10.1 runs were scored per game, with the Athletics averaging 5.5 runs and the Yankees averaging 4.6 runs.Additionally, three of the last four AL wild-card games have featured seven runs or more, with the Yankees winning the 2017 iteration 8-4 over the Minnesota Twins.Oakland's formula for a victory Wednesday involves an all-around effort at the plate, a strategy that should allow Davis to see as many pitches as possible.In their two wins over the Yankees in Oakland at the start of September, the Athletics received 16 hits from the first five batters in their order.Oakland enters with no shortage of confidence, but the Yankees went 53-28 at home in the regular season and possess a tough collection of pitchers.As long as the Yankees starter can go six innings, they should be in great shape as they hand the ball over to Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman.Omar Rawlings/Getty ImagesIf the Yankees hand Chapman a lead in the ninth inning, they should be packing their bags for Boston soon after, as the closer's struck out 41 batters in 28.1 career postseason innings and conceded a single home run in the playoffs.Getting to Chapman might be difficult at times, but the Yankees are more than capable of replicating their wild-card win from a year ago to set up an AL East showdown with the Red Sox in the ALDS.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.


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