Introduction: Fernando Tatis Jr. is an All-Star.
Fernando Tatis Jr. won a silver slugger in 2020 and 2021. This season, the Padres could have a powerful top to their batting lineup with Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, and Jake Cronenworth.
While Fernando Tatis Jr waits until the end of his suspension so he can rejoin the Padres, he will play in AAA. Although shortstop is his position, because the Padres acquired shortstop Xander Bogaerts he will play another position, perhaps right field and DH.
Who are the three Diamondbacks?
The three Diamondbacks are shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, outfielder/DH Kyle Lewis, and outfielder/DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr..
Have you guessed the commonality? Some clues may, or may not, help you. You might realize that they all play in the NL West this season; although correct, that commonality is not what we are looking at.
Three of the four players have played shortstop at some point in the Majors, but Kyle Lewis did not, so that’s not it.
This season three of the four players could play at least a few games in the outfield, but that is unlikely for Geraldo Perdomo, so that’s not it.
Three of them are right-handed batters, but Geraldo Perdomo is a switch hitter, so that is not it.
In 2019, two of the four players debuted in the Majors, so that’s not it. At least this idea is getting closer to the answer.
What do these players have in common?
When Fernando Tatis Jr. made his debut in the Majors, he had never played in AAA. In April he will play in AAA for the first time.
Did the three Diamondbacks play in AAA before their debut in the Majors? Let’s look at the three players.
Geraldo Perdomo. He debuted on 3 April of 2021 at the age of 21. He was called up because Nick Ahmed went on the 10-day injured list. He did not play in AAA before his debut, so that’s one Diamondback in common.
“Perdomo’s defensive abilities speak volumes for his big league future. He filled the role of an everyday shortstop with his crisp glove-to-hand transfers and smooth movements. He fit the position like a glove and showed the potential to stick long term.” — Isaiah Burrows article on his debut.
The next season, Nick Ahmed was only able to play from April 22 to May 15, and Geraldo Perdomo played shortstop while he was out. This season, Roster Resource shows him starting the season on the bench. He will be the backup for shortstop Nick Ahmed.
Geraldo Perdomo is younger than Fernando Tatis Jr.. As Perdomo gains experience in the Majors, continual improvements are a reasonable expectation. This season, despite being a bench player, his performance could be surprisingly impressive.
His OPS+ will improve to average because of the deep batting strengths (swinging strikes, contact percentage, walk to strikeout ratio, and wOBA with RISP) that he demonstrated last season.
His defense will be awesome because that’s his wheelhouse, because he proved his defensive prowess after the All-Star break, and because without shifts his position on the field will be shortstop, where he had his best OAA. — Makakilo
Kyle Lewis. He debuted in September of 2019 at the age of 24. The highest he had played was AA. So that’s two Diamondbacks in common.
The next season he was unanimously voted the AL Rookie-of-the-Year. He was the 12th unanimous winner. Looking back from today, 7 of the last 11 winners in the AL were outfielders, as was Kyle Lewis.
UNANIMOUS Rookie of the Year.— MLB (@MLB) November 9, 2020
The future is bright in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/BbiicaY6py
“The road and all the highs and lows of the Minors Leagues and Major Leagues, the success and struggles with injuries and all that. When you get these milestone moments [rookie-of-the-year], there’s an overwhelming rush of emotions sometimes. Seeing my family so proud and nervous watching the TV. Just a lot of those things kind of piled up.” — Kyle Lewis
In the offseason, he was traded to the Diamondbacks for Cooper Hummel. In 34 spring training PAs, his batting was impressive (1.386 OPS). He will start the season as an outfield bench player, although he could also DH. As a right-handed outfielder, he can face left-handed pitchers instead of left-handed outfielders Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, and Corbin Carroll.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.. He debuted on 20 April of 2018 at the age of 24. He had not played in AAA, so that’s three Diamondbacks in common. In his debut game, two of his 5 at-bats happened with runners on base – both times he hit a single for a game-total of 3 RBIs. After playing shortstop his first season, he moved to left field.
“The outfielder [Lourdes Gurriel Jr.] is prone to extreme hot and cold stretches, with injuries sometimes factoring into that variance. Just in 2022, Gurriel had a .601 OPS over his first 154 plate appearances, then posted a .901 OPS in his next 241 PA, then slumped to a .554 OPS in his final 98 PA prior to a hamstring injury that prematurely ended his season in early September.” — Mark Polishuk
In the offseason, the Diamondbacks acquired him in the Gabriel Moreno/Daulton Varsho trade. Roster Resource shows him starting the season as the Diamondbacks’ DH. As a right-handed outfielder, he could add playing time in the outfield. As long as he stays healthy, I have high expectations for his batting.
Three Diamondbacks, Geraldo Perdomo, Kyle Lewis, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., have something in common with Fernando Tatis Jr.. They all debuted in the Majors before they played in AAA.