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International MLB Player of the Week – San Diego Padres IF/OF Fernando Tatis Jr.

 Leif Skodnick  |    Jun 8th, 2024 12:00pm EDT

Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres jogs around the bases after hitting a home run during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels on March 24, 2023 at the Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

Two hits a day.

That’s what Fernando Tatis Jr. averaged this week.

Actually, it was 2.14 hits per day, as the native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic banged out 15 hits over the past seven days for the San Diego Padres on his way to World Baseball Network’s International MLB Player of the Week honors.

And while the Padres didn’t have a particularly good week – they went 2-5, the pair of triumphs sandwiching a five-game skid –  Tatis clubbed two doubles and two homers this week, drove in four runs and had an OPS of 1.402.

It’s a good sign for the 25-year-old, who underperformed in 2023. Tatis Jr. and the Padres had big expectations last season and failed to deliver, finishing 82-80 despite lavish spending by owner Peter Seidler, who ran up a $237 million payroll in hopes of finally bringing a title to San Diego, only to have the team finish third in the National League West, 18 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At 32-34 so far, the Padres need Tatis Jr. to reach the potential he showed in his first two seasons in the Major Leagues.

If this past week is any indication, he’s on his way back. Tatis had four multi-hit games, including a four-hit game in Thursday’s 3-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Tatis, who made a little more than $7.7 million last season, batted .257/.322/.449 with 24 homers, struggling at times at the plate after missing all of the 2022 season due to a wrist injury from a motorcycle accident – or accidents, he was asked by a reporter when th “the motorcycle accident” happened, Tatis replied, “Which one?” – and then an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use.

Despite his diminished output in 2023, Tatis Jr. still managed to garner some votes in the National League MVP balloting, finishing 14th.

This year, he’s approaching the level of talent he showed as a rookie in 2019. In 66 games, Tatis is slashing .283/.356/.450 with 10 homers and 32 RBI. He’s getting some protection in the lineup batting between Luis Arraez and Jurickson Profar, giving the Padres a strong top of the order.

Only time will tell if the Tatis can reach his potential and help get the Padres back to the playoffs.

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Leif Skodnick