Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The only reason why Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t ranked among the National League leaders in a number of categories is because he missed 34 games earlier in his rookie season with a left hamstring strain.
But that could change in the next month.
Tatis would need 288 plate appearances at the moment to qualify to be among the National League leaders in such categories as batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. He only has 248 plate appearances.
But at his current rate of appearances, Tatis should reach the qualifying numbers within the next month.
Had he enough plate appearances to qualify, Tatis would rank second in the National League in batting average (.339), third in OPS (1.021), fourth in on-base percentage (.406) and sixth in slugging percentage (.615).
And he’s getting hotter.
Tatis has had at least one hit in 14 of his last 16 games, going 25-for-64 (.391) with a double, a triple and six homers for a .719 slugging percentage and .458 on-base percentage for a 1.177 OPS. And since he returned from the injured list on June 6, Tatis has hit .372 (45-for-121) with four doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 14 walks for a .437 on-base percentage, a .669 slugging percentage for a 1.106 OPS.
Tatis, 20, had the first four-hit game of his 59-game Major League career Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. It was his sixth game with three or more hits and 23rd multi-hit game.
Tatis opened the second half going 7-for-13 in the three games against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park.
Despite missing more than a third of the season to date, Tatis ranks seventh in the National League with a 3.6 WAR and fifth in the Power+Speed Analytic.
-- The Padres have lost seven straight home games and are 23-27 at Petco Park this season, the worst home record by any potential National League playoff team. The Padres are also three games below .500 at 45-48, tying their season low. Another key stat, the Padres are 2-5 in extra-inning games following Saturday’s loss.
-- C Austin Hedges’ 1.0 Defensive WAR is the 10th-best mark in the National League and ranks third among catchers.
-- 1B Eric Hosmer, who is tied for eighth in the National League with 63 RBIs, was 2-for-5 Sunday. Hosmer is hitting only .140 (6-for-43) in July with one double, no walks, no runs scored and three RBIs with 11 strikeouts.
-- Manny Machado’s two-homer game Saturday night against Atlanta was his fourth multi-home game of the season and the 24th of his career. He also homered in back-to-back games for the fifth time this season. Thirteen of Machado’s 23 homer this season have come in his last 23 games since June 13.