The San Diego Padres are expected to move Fernando Tatis Jr. to the outfield in 2023 following their Xander Bogaerts signing. The former shortstop will play right field with Trent Grisham handling centerfield duties. Juan Soto, who’s been a right fielder throughout his career, will play left field in 2023 according to Bob Melvin, per Chelsea Janes.

“His preparation is pretty epic. He would like to be able to prepare for one position,” Melvin said of Soto.

The Padres’ stacked lineup was destined to lead to defensive changes. There wasn’t room for Tatis Jr. in the infield so San Diego needed to find a spot for him in the outfield. He could have transitioned to left, but the Padres are ultimately planning to play him in right with Soto preparing for left field.

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In the end, the Padres’ lineup will draw more attention than their defensive arrangement. Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Xander Bogaerts are accompanied by stars such as Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth in the lineup.

It will be interesting to follow how Soto performs in 2023. He’s still only 24-years old but is regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the game. It should be noted that he slashed just .236/.388/.390 with a .778 OPS through 52 games for the Padres in 2022. His ability to get on base has remained impressive, but his other offensive numbers took a nosedive in San Diego.

Nevertheless, the Padres are confident he will find his footing and post superstar caliber numbers across the board in 2023.