Early Tuesday morning, ESPN published an article that detailed predictions for the MVP, CY-Young, and Rookie of the Year in both the National and American Leagues. Over 32 MLB experts were surveyed for the article so you know there was a ton of good conversation and differing viewpoints.
The only member of the Padres to be mentioned for any of the NL awards discussed was Fernando Tatis Jr. He received just a single vote for the National League MVP, which was given to him by ESPN’s Sam Miller. When asked why he picked Tatis, here’s what he had to say:
“Tatis was fourth in the National League in WAR per game last year — behind the top three MVP finishers — and even a little growth from his age-20 season would put him near Trout levels in a full season. Often, MVP cases aren’t just about WAR, or even about greatness, but about how obvious and how fun it is to talk about that greatness. Tatis is young, ascendent and the perfect highlight player, capable of demanding our attention with a different skill every night. We’ll be talking about him constantly, so it’s inevitable he’ll end up in the MVP conversation.”
Beautiful play by Fernando Tatis Jr. here, crowhopping before the ball got to him to get more velo and a quicker release. Perfect. pic.twitter.com/OREkDsdMGb— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) July 21, 2020
As a rookie in 2019, Tatis slashed .317/.379/.590 with 61 runs scores, 106 hits, 22 home runs, 53 RBIs while recording 16 stolen bases. His performance helped him finish third in NL Rookie of the Year voting, behind only the Braves’ Mike Soroka and the Mets’ Pete Alonso.
One could argue it should have been Tatis’ award if he had played anywhere close to Alonso’s 161 games, but third place after playing in 84 contests is still impressive given that no other non-pitcher in the top-six played less than 130 games.