Tatis tops Dominican Republic Draft

Padres No. 4 prospect, Rays' Sanchez chosen first for Winter Ball

Fernando Tatis Jr. made his professional debut in 2016 for the Rookie-level AZL Padres. (Dave Michael/MiLB.com)

By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com | September 15, 2017 3:12 AM

Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jesus Sanchez excelled in their full-season debuts this season, and they'll have an opportunity to build on those performances as the top picks in the Dominican Republic Winter League.

Tatis, the No. 4 Padres prospect, and Sanchez, the fourth-ranked Rays prospect, went first and second overall in Thursday's Draft for Winter Ball. The duo was followed by top Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., No. 1 Rangers prospect Leody Taveras, second-ranked Nationals prospect Juan Soto and Reds No. 22 prospect Jose Siri, who broke the Midwest League record with a 38-game hitting streak this season.

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Tatis, ranked 55th overall and the No. 11 shortstop prospect in baseball, hit .278/.379/.498 with 22 homers, 75 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 131 games with Class A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio after splitting 2016 between the Rookie-level Arizona League and the Class A Short Season Northwest League.

Sanchez spent the entire season roaming Class A Bowling Green's outfield, batting .305/.348/.478 with 15 home runs, 82 RBIs and seven steals after spending the first two seasons of his career in Rookie ball. Guerrero, baseball's fourth overall prospect, went third after turning in a .323/.425/.485 slash line with more walks (76) than strikeouts (62) as an 18-year-old between Class A Lansing and Class A Advanced Dunedin.

Each parent club must clears its prospect to play in the Winter League and also controls how much playing time they see in the offseason.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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