To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to start at shortstop for the National League at the MLB All-Star Game.
Tatis won both phases of fan voting to earn the honor, becoming the first Friar voted into the starting lineup by the general public since the late, great Tony Gwynn in 1998 (Wil Myers was the starting DH in 2016 and Jake Peavy started on the mound in 2007 but both of those were managers decisions).
Entering Thursday's game in Cincinnati, Tatis led the National League in home runs, RBI and OPS, and was in the Top-5 in pretty much every other major statistical category.
Plus, he's simply the most electrifying and energetic player in the game. Even teammate Eric Hosmer says his nephew wears a bandana, not because of Uncle Hos, but because of Tatis Jr.
This is the first All-Star nod for El Nino but with his talent and global appeal it certainly will not be the last. His popularity has, at the age of 22, already landed Fernando on the cover of the MLB The Show 21 video game and endorsement deals with Adidas and Gatorade.
The remainder of the All-Star team will be revealed on Sunday afternoon. It's expected that Padres pitchers Yu Darvish and Mark Melancon will make the cut and it's a strong possibility that infielder Jake Cronenworth will earn his first spot in the Midsummer Classic.
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