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Fernando Tatis

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Fernando Tatis-923.jpg
Fernando Tatis Jr.
  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Fernando Tatis is the only player in major league history to hit two grand slams in one inning. He hit them as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals on April 23, 1999 while facing Chan-Ho Park .

Tatis was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1992 by the Texas Rangers.

At age 18, he was with the Dominican Rangers of the DSL at the rookie level, hitting .273/~.364/.369. At age 19, he was in another rookie league, the GCL Rangers, hitting .330/.405/.481. He was sixth in the GCL in average, led third basemen in fielding (.925) and made the league All-Star team. At age 20, he was with the Single A Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League, hitting .303/~.364/.495, again finishing sixth in average. Baseball America rated him as the #6 prospect in the Rangers system. At age 21, he was at high-A Charlotte in the Florida State League, hitting .286/~.351/.474, and came up to Triple A for 4 at-bats with the Oklahoma City 89ers, getting 2 hits. After the year, he moved up to #2 on the list of Texas prospects, behind only Danny Kolb.

At age 22, he was at Tulsa in the Double A Texas League, hitting .314/~.391/.576 with 24 home runs. Tatis was two homers behind league leader Dan Collier. He split All-Star honors among TL third basemen with Mike Kinkade and was labeled the league's top prospect. That earned him a shot with the Texas Rangers. Playing at third base for the 1997 Rangers in 60 games, he hit .256/.297/.404 with 8 home runs. The 1997 Rangers featured Ivan Rodriguez, Will Clark, and Juan Gonzalez, finishing with a record of 77-85.

The next year, at age 23, Tatis was hitting .270/.303/.361 with 17 doubles in 95 games when he was traded. With the 1998 Cardinals for 55 games, he hit .287/.367/.505 with 8 home runs. Tony LaRussa managed the Cardinals, and Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs that year.

In 1999, Tatis came forth with 34 home runs, second on the team to McGwire's 65, and Tatis put up numbers of .298/.404/.553. He was also second in the league in hit-by-pitch. The team, though, finished under .500.

In 2000, Tatis hit 18 home runs in 96 games, but then was hobbled with a groin injury. Tatis was traded after the season to the Montreal Expos with Britt Reames for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline.

Tatis didn't play well (or much) for Montreal due to injuries, but it is where he became a million-dollar player, earning nearly $14 million in his 3 years there. In 2001, at the age of 26, he appeared in 41 games, hitting .255/.339/.359 with 2 home runs. The next year, he was able to appear in 114 games, hitting .228/.303/.399 with 15 home runs. In 2003, he hit .194/.281/.263 in 53 games.

His career was apparently over at age 28. He has come back to the majors after being gone since 2003. What prompted his comeback was the need to raise money for a church-building project he was involved with in his native country. In his first two games back in the big leagues with the Baltimore Orioles in July 2006, he went 2 for 5. He came back after hitting .298 in 90 games at AAA Ottawa in the International League. After spending all of 2007 in the minors, he found a job as a back-up at several positions with the New York Mets in 2008 and surprised everyone by hitting very well, putting up a line of .297/.369/.484 in 92 games. Tatis was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and a RBI as a late addition to the Dominican national team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, backing up David Ortiz at first base. He was back with the Mets in 2009, getting even more playing time as the team was beset with a rash of injuries, opening up playing time at first base and in the outfield.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1999)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1999)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1999)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1999)

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