Padres prospects on stage in On Deck Game

Padres prospects on stage in On Deck Game

SAN DIEGO -- Fernando Tatis Jr. jumpstarted the Padres' prospects to a 5-2 victory against Rangers Minor Leaguers on Saturday night at Petco Park, as the organizations wrapped up Instructional League play with the Padres On Deck Game.

Tatis, San Diego's No. 4 prospect according to, went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. In a breakout season, Tatis, still a teenager at 18, posted a 20-20 season with Class A Fort Wayne before jumping to Double-A San Antonio. He brought that success to Petco Park.

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"I've been working hard," Tatis said. "People say I'm only 18, but I don't think I play this game like I'm 18 years old. I work harder than an 18-year-old. I really focus just on my job and try to do the best for my team.

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"Being able to do something and show something over here at Petco, it's very cool."

With one out in the first against the Rangers' No. 6 prospect Cole Ragans, Esteury Ruiz, the 30th-ranked Padres prospect, doubled into the left-field corner. Tatis then smashed a single to left, scoring Ruiz and putting the Padres ahead, 1-0.

No. 11 prospect Jorge Ona followed with an RBI triple and scored on Tirso Ornelas' groundout for a 3-0 lead.

Ragans recovered, retiring the final five batters he faced. Hans Crouse, Texas' No. 7 prospect, allowed a run on four hits, getting all six outs in his two innings pitched via strikeout.

In the fifth, Tatis sent a booming double off the right-field wall, missing a home run by a few feet. He came home two batters later on Orlenas' single to left.

Meanwhile, San Diego's pitching was dominant. Right-hander Jacob Nix, the team's 15th-ranked prospect, started and went three innings. The only run he allowed came on a bases-loaded error by Ruiz at second on a ball that could've easily become an inning-ending double play.

Lefty Adrian Morejon, San Diego's No. 5 prospect, followed Nix with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.

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Righty Michel Baez matched Nix, giving up one run over three innings. Baez shot up San Diego's system to No. 7 during the season, in which he posted a 2.54 ERA and struck out 89 batters in 63 2/3 innings.

"Baez had done incredible things this year," said Tatis, who spent most of the season with Baez in Fort Wayne. "I feel like I was seeing something special, something like Pedro [Martinez]."

For the Rangers, No. 5 prospect Bubba Thompson went 1-for-4, No. 20 prospect Pedro Gonzalez added two hits and No. 27 prospect Matt Whatley smacked an RBI triple. Charles Leblanc, batting fifth, went 3-for-4 with a double and run scored.

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for based in San Diego. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.