DENVER -- Even by the lofty standards Fernando Tatis Jr. has set for himself, this was an absolute moonshot.
For the second time in as many days, San Diego's superstar shortstop went deep in Colorado. Wednesday’s homer, in the third inning of the Padres’ 8-7 loss to the Rockies, was a Statcast-estimated 477-foot blast that qualified as the longest of his career.
Call it a Derby preview, perhaps? Tatis, the National League's leading vote-getter at shortstop, feels like a shoo-in for the All-Star Game at Coors Field. He’s a prime candidate to take part in his first Home Run Derby, too.
Tatis leads the NL with 21 home runs and trails Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by one on the Major League leaderboard -- which is remarkable considering Tatis missed 17 games while spending two stints on the injured list.
Tatis' homer came with the Padres mired in an offensive funk of late. They trailed 3-0 in the third when Kyle Freeland hung a thigh-high changeup. Tatis sent it 10-15 rows deep beyond the left-center-field fence, the deepest part of the ballpark.
As if taking out some of the team's offensive frustration, Tatis didn't so much flip his bat as he tossed it aside. His trademark stutter-step around third base drew applause from the Coors Field crowd.
He continued to dazzle as the afternoon progressed, making a pair of rangy plays at shortstop and doubling home a run in the fourth inning.
With one more homer, Tatis would tie his career high, set in his rookie season in 2019. At this pace, it shouldn’t take him long.