Acuna debuted in 2018, while Tatis arrived a season later. Tatis was injured just before the Padres came to Truist Park in late April 2019. The teams didn’t play in 2020 because of the reconfigured schedule during the pandemic-shortened season. Originally, the Braves were scheduled to play their second series of the 2020 season in San Diego.
The only time the two shared a field was in July 2019, when the Braves opened the second half in sunny San Diego. Acuna went 4-for-15 (.267) with two homers, two RBIs and a stolen base in the Braves’ three-game sweep. Tatis went 7-for-13 (.538) with two walks and a stolen base. It was Tatis’ only series against the Braves before this week.
In the past seven days, Acuna and Tatis were supposed to share the same field twice. Acuna would’ve joined Tatis in the starting lineup for the All-Star game in Denver last week if not for his injury. Now, the Braves’ latest meeting with the Padres, which started Tuesday, also won’t feature Acuna and Tatis. Nor will their next series in late September when the Braves finish their final road trip in America’s Finest City.
Tatis interacted plenty with the two Braves who were at the All-Star game. Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies told the AJC he was excited to finally meet Tatis in person, as the two were friends only through social media. They spent a lot of time on the field talking during the workouts before the game. Tatis also met Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman’s son, Charlie, in a heartwarming exchange that went viral.
But there were no highlights of Acuna and Tatis together. It’s unfortunate for the baseball world that Acuna and Tatis, perhaps the two most exciting players in the NL, have so rarely faced off or even shared a field during the All-Star game.
“When I see what Fernando is doing, that’s Ronald for us,” Freeman said last week during All-Star media day. “That’s the east coast and west coast. That’s almost the same player. They’re so dynamic. It’s amazing what they can do on the baseball field, what they do day in and day out. They might go 0-for-4, but they’re going to make fans go home and talk about them. That’s what they do. That’s what’s so special about them. People will remember coming to watch them play.
“It’s fun to watch. It’s not fun to play against because you know he’ll beat you at some point in that game. Luckily, we get to face (Tatis) right after the All-Star break. Maybe he’ll be tired or something and he won’t do well against us. I’m a baseball fan, and I love taking a step back and realizing what we’re getting to watch. You’re watching guys who are generational talents. We have a lot of them at the same time.
“No one is even talking about (Angels outfielder) Mike Trout right now, and that’s incredible to me. I think he’s the greatest player of this generation and could go down as one of the top five players of all-time if he keeps going. And nobody is talking about him. That’s how crazy these young guys are and how good they are.”
But fans will have to wait at least until 2022 to see the next Acuna and Tatis meeting.