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Fernando Tatis Jr. enjoying first big league spring training with Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres have a long list of top prospects, but Fernando Tatis Junior is atop the list.

At just 19, Tatis Jr. has already turned heads with his .381 batting average in the spring to go with speed and power and he's not phased by any of it.

The Padres shortstop is the youngest player in any Major League Baseball camp this spring.

"People always talking about it but I really don't care," said Tatis Jr.

He also remains unfazed being the Padres top prospect this season and rated as one of the top 10 prospects across the league.

"It is what it is," said Tatis Jr. "I don't care if I'm number one or number 30, I'm still going to work hard and still going to do my best and keep going."

Tatis Jr. quickly moved through the Padres farm system in 2017, starting in Single-A Fort Wayne and moving up to Double-A San Antonio. This year, he earned his first MLB Spring Training invitation.

"These guys are very hungry to play this game," he said. "They're very competitive and everybody is trying to get their job done but it's fun at the same time because you know everybody is working hard and doing their best."

Tatis says veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis, along with other position players, have helped him navigate big league camp.

"It is exciting," said Tatis Jr. "I'm having fun learning from the guys that have been here already and what can I say, it's a new experience and I'm just trying to do my best."

The Dominican Republic native says he hopes to make the Padres big league roster soon, realizing he still has some work to do.

"It would mean a lot to accomplish my dream," he said. "Start the beginning of my career and let's see what happens."

The Padres continue spring training play until March 26 before they have Open Day against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 29th.