MLB

Close Again … But Tatis Jr. Comes Up Short in National League MVP Vote

Padres superstar was a finalist but didn't get the nod in 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to win an MVP award. He's probably going to win several. It just didn't happen this year.

The Padres star was one of three finalists for the award that went to Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (Nationals OF Juan Soto was the other man in consideration).

All three were undeniably deserving of the honor so this is not an unexpected or unfair outcome, despite the feelings of many Padres fans. Part of the reason this is a completely inexact science is there's no set of criteria for voters to follow.

Do you value WAR? OPS+? Sheer excitement value? All-around performance?

Everyone with a ballot has a different way of interpreting what a Major League MVP truly is. Injuries limited Tatis to just 130 games, which hurt him with some voters ... but he still finished with more home runs and and RBI than the other two finalists, which helped him with other voters who like 162-game projections.

Tatis had a terrible defensive start to the season at shortstop, but he's easily the best baserunner of the bunch (Tatis added more runs from his exploits on the bases than anyone else in the game). Some voters look at both areas as important while others discount one or diminish another.

The thing that truly pushed him behind Harper, though, was probably the fact his team suffered one of the greatest collapses in franchise history, which is really saying something given this franchise's history, while Harper's bat is a big reason the Phillies stayed in contention until the final few days of the season.

Yes, team performance is also something voters put different levels of importance on.

At the age of 22, Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to have plenty more chances to win the league's top honor. The great news for Padres fans is the next 13 years he'll be doing it in San Diego.

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