It was four summers ago that Fernando Tatis Jr. was roaming the infield at Wolff Stadium.
In the short time since then, Tatis has gone from a prospect with the San Antonio Missions, to a starter with the San Diego Padres, to a bona fide major league star with a $330 million contract.
So the question in the minors is, who will be next?
CJ Abrams just might be the answer.
The 20-year-old shortstop is the No. 2 prospect in the Padres organization, and the top prospect who is not a pitcher.
Abrams and the rest of the Missions make their 2021 home debut at Wolff Stadium on Tuesday night – weather permitting.
The lanky 6-foot-2 infielder with a whip for an arm has played mostly at shortstop this season. He has also seen action at second base. Abrams also projects to be able to play center field, similar to Mauricio Dubon of the 2019 Missions, who now plays shortstop and outfield for the San Francisco Giants.
Abrams has played in all of the Missions’ 12 games so far this season. He is batting .306 with two home runs, four doubles and three stolen bases.
This is his second year in the minors – it would be his third if the 2020 minor league season hadn’t been wiped out by covid. In 2019, he batted .401 as an 18 year old in 32 games in rookie league with three home runs and 14 stolen bases. He also spent two games in Class A.
More recently, Abrams gained the experience of spending time with the Padres, including the likes of Tatis and Manny Machado, this February and March after being invited to join the major league team in spring training in Arizona.