I was fortunate enough to be emailed a private screening of MLB Network's Fernando Tatis Jr. documentary called "The Rise of El Nino" ahead of its Wednesday debut the day after the All-Star Game. Here's the trailer:
Going into the piece, I thought all it would be is a long highlight reel with interviewees gushing about Tatis' athleticism and personality. Don't get me wrong, there were many Tatis highlights but this film goes through way more than what we see on television every night.
It will take you through his childhood in the Dominican Republic, Tatis' experiences as the son of a major league ballplayer, being traded to San Diego, and of course, his first few seasons in the big leagues, including his grand slam in Texas that spurred the unwritten rules conversation. There were numerous people interviewed for the documentary including Alex Rodriguez, Pedro Martinez, Mark Grant, Matt Vasgersian, Fernando Tatis Sr., Manny Machado, AJ Preller, Jayce Tingler, and Tatis' younger brother Elijah Tatis.
A-Rod knows a whole lot about being a young superstar in Major League Baseball and being in the same clubhouse as another. The former Mariners phenom believes Tatis can be that type of player. "When I came up at 18, there was a guy playing centerfield that was [number] 24 called Ken Griffey Jr. He wore his hat backwards. He was the Michael Jordan of our game. I think Tatis has the same opportunity," Rodriguez said during the film.
The documentary didn't just talk about his play on the field. It opened with the 22-year-old seeing himself on the cover of "MLB The Show 21" for the first time before briefly covering his "Bolt 24" commercial for Gatorade later on.
Another interesting aspect covered was what led to Tatis' extension before the 2021 season. "The first offer, it started with 12 years and... I said why not just go the [whole] career," Tatis recalled. His father wanted to make sure that his son wasn't just making an emotional decision. "I asked him 'You know that's a lot of years. Do you like the city, you like to play there?' and he said 'Yes, I like it' and I told him 'Let's do it, let's go for it'," Tatis Sr said.
"I think it was a great investment for both sides," Tatis said while smiling ear to ear. It sure looks like a great investment right now and will be as long as he stays healthy.
This documentary covered everything that needed to be covered, including the Padres vs. Dodgers rivalry, and MLB Network interviewed everyone who should've been interviewed to chronicle how Tatis has emerged as the face of the game.
Make sure to watch it premiere on MLB Network on Wednesday, July 14 at 8 pm ET.