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Padres' Tatis on being traded, thriving as a teenager

July 27, 2017

This week on the MLBPipeline Podcast, host Tim McMaster and resident prospect gurus Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo talk to Padres No. 4 prospectFernando Tatis Jr. The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's episode of the Pipeline Podcast.McMaster: As part of our coverage of the new

This week on the MLBPipeline Podcast, host Tim McMaster and resident prospect gurus Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo talk to Padres No. 4 prospectFernando Tatis Jr. The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's episode of the Pipeline Podcast.
McMaster: As part of our coverage of the new re-rank, we're excited to have Fernando Tatis Jr. joining us on the podcast. Fernando, Padres shortstop prospect, checks into the top 100 at No. 58. Fernando, thank you for joining us.
Tatis: Thank you for having me.
McMaster: I guess my first question for you is you got signed originally by the White Sox and traded, and then really made your pro debut quickly after that, last summer. How crazy has this last year been, between the trade and then getting your start in pro ball last year and having a great season so far this summer?
Tatis: It has been crazy, man. Beside being traded at 17 years old, it was something I'd never imagined. Being here in pro ball already and doing a good job, I feel great. Great to be here.
Mayo: Fernando, a lot of people say that first full season, when you have to play 140 games, it can be really difficult. You'll see guys hit a lull and get tired. You seem to be gaining speed as we get later on in the year. Tell us a little about the adjustments you had to make when you first got to the Midwest League and what's really working for you so well now.

Tatis: I got to have my dad, always giving me advice all the time. He told me if you're going to have a good full season, you're going to have to be great. You have to eat well, you have to work hard in the gym and all that, and I got to say it was strength. In the process I've been feeling good and I feel great.
Callis: Fernando, you're a guy who's obviously been having a great season across the board. I think last time I checked, you had 17 homers, 22 steals, hitting .272 in a league that might be the hardest league to hit in the Minors. What do you think is the best part of your game right now, and what do you think you need to work on the most?
Tatis: I'm 18 years old, so I need to be working all the way around. I have to perfect myself and try to be great and just keep to the grind every day. Just staying focused on everything so we can be successful in this game.
Mayo: Fernando, we've been getting a lot of questions in terms of you getting promoted. A lot of Padres fans would like to see you get bumped up to the California League before the year is over. Is that something where you have a goal to try to earn that promotion or do you try not to worry about that sort of stuff while you're out there?
Tatis: I would love to get promoted. I think it's a big reward, but I don't question my GM and Sam Geaney, all of the bosses. I'm just here and trying to do my job. I just have to work hard every day over here.
Callis: There's something else I guess that's beyond your control that I'm curious if you pay attention to or if you know some players do. We just released our Top 100 Prospects list. You came in at No. 58 on the Top 100, I think John will back me up on this, but he did a Twitter chat today and I had a bunch of people saying Fernando Tatis is too low, what's wrong with you guys. As a player, do you pay attention to the rankings? Are you aware of them? Do other player pay attention to them? Or is that something you try to ignore and not worry about?
Inbox: Midseason Top 100 Prospects re-rank
Tatis: You know, it's something like I really don't pay attention, but other people around you are always talking about it and I've got to hear it no matter what. So it's there and I just hear them, but I don't worry if a bunch of people say I'm bad or good, I'm just trying to play my game and feel good, man.
Mayo: Maybe you could just reach out to all of our Twitter followers and tell them you don't care where you are on the list. That would do us a big favor, thanks. In all seriousness, I wanted to ask you, there seems to be a ton of talent in the Midwest League this year. A lot of young guys, a lot of guys that ended up high on our list. I wanted to ask you specifically about Vlad Guerrero Jr., just because I think the similarities are obvious. Sons of big leaguers, playing as teenagers, playing extremely well in the Midwest League. Do you guys get to talk at all about that and compare notes about where you are?
Tatis: Oh yeah, we talked. We were together in the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby too. We talk a lot, being Dominican and we just talk about it, what people said. We push each other and give advice to each other and just keep the grind.
Callis: Fernando, I'll follow up on that by asking another question about the Midwest League. As Jonathan noted, a very talented, very deep, a lot of good prospects in the league. Who is the best pitcher you have faced in the Midwest League this year?
Tatis: The best pitcher? You know, there's a lot of good pitchers over here. I'll say, he's not a powerful guy, but he's pretty smart at pitching, from Dayton, Cincinnati, [Scott] Moss, the lefty. There's also a pretty good closer, but I don't remember the name. There are some pretty good arms here, pretty good guys. Some smart pitching.
McMaster: All right Fernando, thank you so much for taking some time for us. Congratulations on what has been a tremendous season for you so far and good luck the rest of the way.
Tatis: Thank you.