Saturday, May 13, 2017 11:50 pm
Notebook: Tatis settling into leadoff spot
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
One of the developing trends with the TinCaps lately has been Fernando Tatis Jr. batting in the leadoff spot.
Manager Anthony Contreras had Tatis atop the order again in Saturday night's loss to Beloit, and Tatis has taken well to his new role. On a bases-loaded walk Saturday, he picked up his fourth RBI in five games hitting leadoff.
Most of the season, Tatis, rated the No. 6 prospect in the San Diego Padres' farm system, has been slotted in the three-hole. Contreras sees the move up as a way of getting Tatis to think a bit differently about his approach.
"For him, he has speed," Contreras said. "He can do a lot of things. He can bunt, obviously hit for power. We're just trying to get him in maybe a different mindset up there."
Early in the season, Tatis mentioned how being the No. 3 hitter meant he was pitched tougher than he would be otherwise. Also, being a leadoff hitter guarantees Fort Wayne's top prospect will head to the plate the maximum amount of times.
"He's doing a good job of picking the right pitches to swing at," Contreras said. "It's just trying something new. He is one of the better hitters on our team, and it's good to get him as many (plate appearances) a game as possible."
Rocket arm: Backup catcher Webster Rivas, filling in as Marcus Greene Jr. rested Saturday, rifled a throw to third base in the fifth inning to catch Beloit's Luis Barrera attempting to steal. The reason it was a terrific throw was not just the quick release or velocity. Most important, it was on a low trajectory and accurate. Third baseman Hudson Potts barely needed to move his glove and applied the tag on Barrera's leg.
Until we meet again: The TinCaps will not play another team from the Midwest League's Western Divison until after the All-Star break. It would appear to be a good thing, as they went 4-8 in interdivision play in the first half, dropping series to Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Wisconsin and Beloit.