Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t competing in this year’s Home Run Derby, but he’s set to hit at least one round of dingers in games by then.
Tatis went deep in his first three trips to plate Friday for the Padres against the Diamondbacks. And he did it in the first four innings, which meant he had plenty of time to tie or break the MLB record for home runs in one game. The mark is four and the feat has been accomplished 18 times, most recently by JD Martinez in 2017.
His fourth time, he fielded a one-jump shortstop to lead the seventh inning. His fifth time he failed in the eighth.
All three circuits have given Tatis, 22, 25 to the season, equaling him with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays in most majors. He took full advantage of No.3 as he flew over the central field wall.
Tatis said ahead of Friday’s game he was spending this year’s Derby in Denver to protect his left shoulder, which appeared on a swing in April and was altered this month as he dove for a ball at the ground. That leaves only Shohei Ohtani and Pete Alonso as confirmed attendees at the July 12 showcase event. Guerrero will not participate either.
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But rest assured, Tatis wants to be part of it during his career.
“I’m 22 years old. I feel like there’s going to be more of a chance for me to go to the Home Run Derby,” he told reporters, according to MLB.com. “When I go there I want to put on a pretty good show.”