Tatis has breakout performance for Missions

Padres No. 4 prospect registers first four-hit game of his career

Fernando Tatis Jr. has 56 extra-base hits in 128 games across two levels this season. (San Antonio Missions)

By Gerard Gilberto / MiLB.com | September 3, 2017 1:45 AM

After performing well enough to jump two levels to Double-A San Antonio, Fernando Tatis Jr. has had some growing pains. But on Saturday night, the Padres' No. 4 prospect broke out in a big way.

Tatis registered the first four-hit game of his career and drove in two runs as the Missions posted a 6-3 victory over Corpus Christi. It was the first game at Whataburger Field since Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coastline.  

Gameday box score

"Pretty solid approach tonight to stay in the middle of the field and be ready to attack anything that's up and out over," San Antonio hitting coach Lance Burkhart said. "He didn't try and do too much. He just tried to stay on top of the ball and hit line drives and was a little bit more selective tonight."

MLB.com's No. 58 overall prospect was promoted from Class A Fort Wayne on Aug. 21 after batting .281/.390/.520 and setting a TinCaps' single-season record with 21 homers. The son of former Major Leaguer Fernando Tatis also stole 29 bases to become the first teenager in the Midwest League with 20 long balls and 20 steals in the same season since 2010. 

Through his first 10 games with San Antonio, Tatis was 7-for-39 (.179) with a homer, double, four RBIs and four runs scored. Although he didn't explode onto the scene, he's shown the Missions a level of maturity well beyond that of many 18-year-olds. 

Video: Tatis collects fourth hit for San Antonio

"He carries himself really well. He has a really good demeanor," Burkhart said. "He definitely knows how to make an approach at the plate ... how to go about his work every day. I don't have to worry about him doing his work ... having a good at-bat ... being ready to hit, he's already got all those things."

After bouncing out in his first at-bat against starter Josh James, Tatis got the better of the right-hander with one out and the bases loaded in the second inning. His two-run single came during a six-run frame in which San Antonio collected seven base knocks. Tatis scored the final run when Padres No. 10 prospect Josh Naylor slapped a single into center field.

MiLB include

"Seven singles in an inning is pretty tough to do," Burkhart said. "That just shows you those guys had a pretty good approach at the plate and they weren't trying to do too much, taking what the pitcher gave them and working their at-bats."

Tatis notched another base hit to center with two outs in the fourth and lined a one-out knock in the sixth. With two outs and a runner on in the eighth, Tatis ripped the first offering from right-hander Ryan Thompson to left for another base hit. 

No. 3 Padres prospect Luis Urias singled three times in four at-bats for San Antonio.

Top-ranked Astros prospect Kyle Tucker cracked a solo shot in his first at-bat for Corpus Christi. It was the 15th Double-A homer and 24th of the season for MLB.com's 10th overall prospect. 

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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