Tatis tallies No. 30, makes history in loss

Jeter on superstar shortstop: 'He can do everything'

July 25th, 2021

Just two pitches into his at-bat in the first frame of Saturday’s matchup, made history. The 409-foot home run marked his 30th of the season, putting the Padres on the board first in the frustrating 3-2 loss to the Marlins at loanDepot park.

It took 82 games for the 22-year-old slugger to reach 30 home runs in a season, the fewest games needed to reach the mark for any player his age or younger. Speaking of his age, he is the youngest Padre to reach 30 home runs -- besting Gary Sheffield’s age-23 season in 1992.

“He can do everything,” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter told reporters before Saturday’s matchup. “He's a lot of fun to watch, whether it's defense, offense [or] running the bases. I think they have a player there in San Diego that those fans are going to enjoy watching for a long, long time.”

Tatis’ home run made him the third shortstop in MLB history to reach 30 homers in a single season at age 22 or younger. He joins Alex Rodriguez (age 20, 1996; age 22, 1998) and Gleyber Torres (age 22, 2019).

When balls and strikes calls were not going his way on Saturday -- or in favor of the Padres, in general -- Tatis saved his words for when he got back to the dugout after striking out looking in the sixth inning. Home-plate umpire Doug Eddings had no problem throwing out Tommy Pham in the top of eighth and associate manager Skip Schumaker in the bottom of that inning for arguing calls.

Though frustrated, Tatis maintained his temper and showed a level of maturity that impressed his skipper. When asked how the young star is able to separate his frustration from his desire to remain in the game, Padres manager Jayce Tingler plainly said that Tatis knows how much he is needed.

Yes, the Padres need him in their lineup, and it seems like fans also need to see Tatis out on the field. Even on the road, the ballpark erupted when the young slugger’s home run left the bat at 111 mph.

Tingler can go on and on about what Tatis can do offensively, however, it’s his behind-the-scenes actions that impress most.

“It's way cool,” Tingler said when asked about Tatis’ star power. “It's pretty unique. He’s one of the main attractions as you go city to city. It's great for the game. It's certainly great to have a fan base at a lot of different spots. I think it's critical for just the overall growth of the game.”

The Padres' shortstop hasn’t tried to do too much, remaining focused on being a good teammate and constantly working on his game. It’s one of the main reasons Tingler is proud to have Tatis represent the game of baseball to a wide audience.

“As we continue to win and gain popularity, I think more and more of those things are going to come,” said Tingler of the pressure put on the young star. “I think he'll do a great job of just managing all those expectations. He does a really good job of keeping things simple, certainly on the field. Sometimes that's the key, to see how simple you can keep things, certainly in a complex world. I think that's a good thing. He's got that knack.”