Top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. will reportedly open the season on the Padres' roster.

By Jenna West
March 26, 2019

Padres top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. will be on the club's Opening Day roster, according to The Athletic's Dennis Lin.

San Diego was expected to make the roster decision at the last possible moment ahead of Opening Day, when the Friars host the Giants at Petco Park on Thursday to start a four-game series.

While still waiting to hear where he'd start the season, Tatís told MLB.com on Monday that he felt confident in his ability to play at the major league level now.

"I feel like I'm ready," Tatís said. "I feel like I'm ready to go. I don't know. We'll see what it's going to be. I'm not saying everything is going to be 100% perfect right away. In this game, you learn every day and you just make adjustments."

In 55 plate appearances this spring, Tatís has posted a .265/.345/.490 slash line in major league camp with the Padres.

The 20-year-old shortstop is the son of former infielder Fernando Tatís, who played for 11 seasons in the major leagues. Tatís Jr. spent last season playing for the Double-A San Antonio Missions, hitting .286 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI in 88 games. He's the Friar's top prospect and No. 2 overall in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. SI's Jon Tayler profiled Tatís to share how the shortstop is ready to lead MLB's next generation.

The White Sox signed Tatís for $825,000 in July 2015 during the international signing period and later sent him to the Padres in a 2016 trade for pitcher James Shields.

All spring it was assumed Tatís wouldn’t be on the Opening Day roster because of the Padres' desire to delay his big league service time for another year. Instead, San Diego will go against what other teams have done in recent seasons with their top prospects by calling up Tatís.

In 2015, the Cubs sent Kris Bryant to Triple A after major league spring training camp to control his service time before calling him up at the end of April. The Braves also started Ronald Acuna Jr. in the minors last season before promoting him in late April. Both players went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award in their first seasons.

Last week, the Reds' No. 1 prospect Nick Senzel was cut from Cincinnati's major league roster. Senzel's agent called the move "a simply egregious case of service-time manipulation."

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