The best Fernando Tatis Jr. player prop for 2021
Fernando Tatis Jr. has emerged as one of baseball’s most exciting young players, and for good reason.
He has prodigious power, swings on 3-0 counts, and plays with great flair and panache (it’s writer’s law to use the word “panache” whenever possible).
There are a few exciting props that focus on Tatis’ production for the 2021 season, and I’ll focus on his total hits number, 168.5.
How can we extrapolate Tatis' production for a full season?
For as much excitement as Tatis has generated, we really don’t have much to go on. He played 84 games in 2019 and 59 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. This adds a bit of uncertainty, as 2021 will be the first time we see what Tatis can do over the course of a full season.
His power numbers have been strong, but I’m concerned by his 40-point drop in batting average. Tatis hit .317 in 2019 and .277 in 2020. His batting average on balls in play (or BABIP) during the 2019 season was a ridiculous .410. That slipped to a more reasonable (but still high) .306 in 2020.
Can Tatis average more than a hit per game?
The 168.5 total assumes a bit more than a hit per game during the regular season. I want no part of going against Tatis’s power props, as he may lead the National League in home runs, despite playing in a pitcher’s park. However, the hits number just seems too high. Further BABIP regression could make that number difficult to hit, and it’s possible pitchers start to figure him out after 143 games in the league.
Maybe Tatis can adjust, keeps the BABIP high, and have an MVP-caliber season. However, if you’re playing any Tatis props before the season, I’d advise you to go against him on total hits.