PHOENIX -- Can you imagine?
"I know," Fernando Tatis Jr. said with a smile. "We would have missed a couple things already."
The Padres decided against manipulating Tatis' service time, promoting him to make his major league debut on Opening Day, because they thought he was the best choice to be their shortstop and could potentially help them win all sorts of different ways.
They had no idea it would go like this. Not now.
The organization was, of course, high on his potential and the speed and power and defensive skills he already possessed. But they also were sure to provide plenty of caveats about how they would be patient with any early struggles.
Tatis will almost certainly struggle at some point, because that happens even to Hall of Famers.
"Struggles are going to come," he said. "In fact, they've been here. There have been a couple games. ... But I make adjustments. This is what this game is about. You learn every day."
But it turns out starting the season with their No. 1 prospect on the team is among the biggest reasons the Padres entered Monday's game against the Rockies with an 11-6 record, two games up in the National League West.
In addition to having a team leading 11 RBIs and team leading five home runs, Tatis' four defensive runs saved are tied with Javier Baez for most among major league shortstops and are second on the team to Machado's five at third base.
Tatis' wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus, a metric that quantifies a player's offensive contributions in the context of the league average) of 126 leads the team, one point above Wil Myers and seven ahead of Machado.