The San Diego Padres are coming off of two consecutive series wins and will welcome in the Los Angeles Angels for a quick two-game series beginning later tonight at Petco Park. The headline of this series is the matchup of Fernando Tatis Jr. against Shohei Ohtani. Tatis, 22, and Ohtani, 26, are the frontrunners for National League and American League MVP, respectively.
Ohtani is getting more attention this season because he’s doing something we’ve never seen done before: pitching like an ace and leading the league in home runs while staying healthy. Tatis, on the other hand, has had to deal with multiple shoulder subluxation injuries so he and Ohtani haven’t played in the same amount of games this season.
So, I wanted to see how close these two MVP frontrunners would compare offensively if Tatis and Ohtani had played the same number of games so far in 2021. First off, though, here are both of their full 2021 stats heading into tonight’s series opener at Petco Park.
Since Tatis has only played in 105 games, I wanted to truly be able to compare he and Ohtani’s numbers so I took Tatis’ full season thus far and put it up against Ohtani’s first 105 games. Here are the numbers:
This was absolutely stunning to me. At the All-Star Game, all of the talk was surrounding Ohtani but when you look at the numbers, Tatis is having the same type of MVP-caliber offensive season. I don’t want to make this into a “who is the MVP of MLB” conversation because both are great talents but it’s clear Ohtani is the more valuable player because he literally can help his team prevent runs on the mound and score runs.
However, this is the one statistical category that Tatis can be compared to Ohtani and he has an argument for being the better offensive player so far this year (had both played the same amount of games). Through each’s first 105 games, Tatis had a better batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He also drove in and scored more runs.
Seeing how Tatis’ numbers stack up against the most talented player in the league should make fans and analysts appreciate how valuable he is to the Padres even more, especially considering that San Diego is in the middle of a Wild Card race at the moment.
I haven’t even mentioned that Tatis is putting up these numbers while changing positions so he can increase his chances of staying on the field and help his team win games. Tatis isn’t just going from shortstop to third base either. He has transitioned from shortstop to right and center field, which requires a new kind of focus because he isn’t involved in as many plays as shortstop.
It would’ve been intriguing to see what Tatis’ numbers would’ve looked like at season’s end if he didn’t have to miss 30 games due to numerous shoulder dislocations. Nonetheless, it’ll still be interesting to see if Tatis can get to 45 home runs and 100 RBI before the regular season concludes. As for the present, Tatis and Ohtani will play against one another later tonight in what is the first of their final two meetings of the season.