We're just a few days into 2019 and Fernando Tatis Jr. is already having a strong year.
The Padres' No. 1 prospect celebrated his 20th birthday on Wednesday by going 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs as he helped lead Estrellas Orientales over Leones del Escogido, 4-1, in postseason play in the Dominican Winter League. He also reached once via a walk and stole a base.
Tatis has been arguably the top hitter in the DWL so far in the postseason. Through eight games, the No. 2 overall prospect ranks among the league leaders in average (.345, second), OPS (1.096, first), hits (10, first), home runs (two, first) and total bases (19, first). It follows a regular-season campaign with Estrellas in which he hit .263/.379/.488 with 11 extra-base hits, seven steals and 17 runs in 23 games.
Playing all of 2018 as a 19-year-old in Double-A, Tatis posted a .286/.355/.507 line with 16 homers and 16 steals over 88 games in the Texas League before requiring season-ending surgery on his left thumb in mid-July.
Here's a look at how top prospects, as well as some other notable players, are performing so far in offseason leagues.
D.J. Burt, 2B, Royals' No. 28 -- The 2014 fourth-round pick has at least one hit in four straight games and eight of his last 10, including five multihit performances. He's hit .382 in that span, which in turn has improved his ABL average from .291 to .326 through 27 games for Melbourne. The 23-year-old second baseman spent the entire regular season at Class A Advanced Wilmington, hitting .280/.367/.371 with 24 extra-base hits and 32 stolen bases in 111 games.
Tristan Gray, 2B, Rays -- Gray tied a bow on his 2018 by homering in back-to-back games for Perth on Dec. 30-31. He hit a pair of homers in the first game, delivering a two-run shot followed by a three-run blast in his first two trips to the plate to finish 2-for-4 with five RBIs, and then went deep again the following day to push his ABL total to six homers. Acquired from the Pirates last February in the Corey Dickerson trade, Gray showed impressive power potential by posting 53 extra-base hits, including 13 homers and 38 doubles, over 118 games in the pitcher-friendly Class A Advanced Florida State League.
Genesis Cabrera, LHP, Cardinals' No. 13 -- Cabrera has allowed an earned run but no hits in his three postseason relief outings for Tigres del Licey, striking out three in 3 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old left-hander -- acquired from Tampa Bay last July in the Tommy Pham trade -- pitched to a 1.26 ERA and .152 BAA with 21/2 K/BB in 14 1/3 frames (20 appearances) during the DWL regular season.
Isaac Paredes, SS, Tigers' No. 13 -- Paredes started at second base and went 1-for-3 on Wednesday as Obregon edged Mazatlan, 3-1, to improve to 2-0 in the best-of-seven opening round. The 19-year-old finished the regular season on a tear, slashing .333/.512/.533 with 10 hits, nine RBIs and 11 walks over his final 10 games, and was 1-for-2 with a walk in the playoff opener. Playing in 123 games last season between Class A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie, Paredes hit .278/.359/.456 with 15 homers and 28 doubles while tallying 70 RBIs and runs scored apiece.
Isan Diaz, 2B, Marlins' No. 9 -- Diaz tallied at least one hit in three of his final four games to finish his PRWL campaign with a .272/.348/.368 slash line in 33 games with Gigantes de Carolina. He hit one home run and had eight extra-base hits overall to go along with a 13/20 BB/K. The 22-year-old second baseman was challenged this past season in the upper Minors and hit just .232 in 119 games between Double-A and Triple-A, though still finished with 13 homers -- his fourth straight season with at least 13 homers -- 23 doubles and 14 steals while reaching base at a .340 clip.