Fernando Tatis Jr. is the cheat code to run in the minors

Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres looks to the sky after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park on September 22, 2021 in San Diego, California.
(Photo by Denis Poroy / Getty Images)

The San Diego Padres are 8-9 to start the 2023 season, currently good enough for third place in the NL West division.

Their rampaging offense has scored just 71 runs and the entire team has a -2 run differential.

It’s certainly not what fans imagined after the organization went out and signed Xander Bogarts, Nelson Cruz and other key players.

However, it’s still early.

The crime is expected to pick up speed in the coming days and weeks.

One reason behind the optimism is that slugger Fernando Tatis Jr., who is still serving his 80-game suspension from last year, is set to return.

He is eligible to play for the Padres starting Thursday.

He is playing for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, El Paso, and is punting the ball.

“Fernando Tatis Jr. is now 10-for-12 with 6 home runs in his last 3 games,” Talkin’ Baseball tweeted over the weekend.

It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing: A 10-for-12 stretch with six (!) home runs is one of the most impressive things you’ll see.

It’s nice to imagine the fans attending those games always expected something to happen when Tatis stepped up to the plate to hit.

This is a player who has the potential to go 30-30 the rest of the 2023 campaign.

He’s already hit 42 home runs in one season: This happens in 2021.

After shoulder surgery last year, questions are being raised about his bat speed and power.

He is definitely trying his best to answer those questions.

Juan Soto comments on his stacked team