Fernando Tatis Jr. is set to return in 2023 off an injury-laden and suspension-filled absence in 2022. That’s dangerous for the rest of baseball.

The San Diego Padres had a very deep roster in 2022 when they made a run to the NLCS. Their roster in 2023 is about to be even deeper. They added Matt Carpenter and Xander Bogaerts in free agency and will get a full season of Juan Soto this time around.

One MLB podcaster with Barstool Sports is convinced Tatis’ reemergence can be a huge difference maker for the team next season.

Chris Castellani said:

“The San Diego Padres are going to have a loaded roster in 2023. I bet a lot of people are going to pick them to win the division over the Dodgers. Getting lost in all this is I think people are forgetting just how good Fernando Tatis Jr. actually is.”

He continued:

“2022 was a nightmare for Tatis… at the same time, I think we’re forgetting how good this guy was… In his last full season, even though he only played 130 games, we’re talking about somebody that put up a WAR of 6.6, he’s got a .965 career OPS and he’s only 24 years old.”


He finished with:

“When you look at the lineup that is protecting him, I think he’ll be maybe the best leadoff hitter in baseball in 2023.”

Assuming the PEDs weren’t the sole reason Tatis was so good, it is totally reasonable to believe similar numbers are possible in 2023.

How good can Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Padres be in 2023?

The San Diego Padres’ impressive offseason has impressed the folks at Fangraphs if nothing else. Their projections estimate that the Padres will be the fifth-best team in baseball.

The San Diego Padres get Fernando Tatis Jr. back
The San Diego Padres get Fernando Tatis Jr. back

They also believe they will surpass the Los Angeles Dodgers next year. Fernando Tatis Jr. will more than likely be the catalyst for that. They expect over 5.5 fWAR and a wRC+ of about 160.

If he can make the transition to the outfield and not be a complete disaster out there, the Padres will be in excellent shape.

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Edited by Zachary Roberts

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