Padres Superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. Named National League MVP Finalist

San Diego's shortstop earns Most Valuable Player consideration

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the most exciting player in baseball is an MVP finalist.

Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is up for the award after turning in one of the greatest offensive seasons in franchise history. Tatis smashed 42 home runs while hitting .282 with 97 RBI, 99 runs scored and a .975 OPS and he did it while missing 30 games and playing most of the season with a shoulder that was not at 100% and changing positions in the middle of the year.

Had he stayed at shortstop for the whole season (the Padres moved him to the outfield to try and protect his left shoulder, which suffered at least two partial dislocations during the year) he would have become the 4th shortstop in Major League history to have a 40 home run season. Ernie Banks, Rico Petrocelli, and Alex Rodriguez are the only ones to do it.

The fact Tatis Jr. only played 132 games could either hurt him or help him depending on the perspective of each individual voter. The fact the Padres finished with a losing record and the defensive struggles that plagued Fernando early in the year will definitely be factors in the balloting.

But, perhaps not that much since Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper and Nationals outfielder Juan Soto are the other finalists. Neither of them is known as a defensive dynamo or reached the playoffs, either.

Tatis, who finished 4th in the NL MVP vote in 2020, recently decided against having off-season surgery on his shoulder, instead choosing rehabilitation. He also said his preferred position is shortstop and expects to be back there in 2022.

The only Padre to win an MVP is Ken Caminiti, who took the trophy in 1996. We find out who wins this year's on Thursday, November 18.

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