Graduation season is upon us and with it come the all too familiar “Superlatives” that the graduating seniors bestow upon their fellow classmates.
You know, the “Most Likely to…” or “Best… yada yada,” you get the picture.
But why should they get all the fun?
Let’s honor our swinging Friars as well with some superlatives of their own in regards to the 2021 season.
Best All-Around (BMOC): Fernando Tatis Jr.
This is the kid you’re always picking first no matter what the sport is in P.E. that day. He carries an aura that begs a following. Tatis has a smooth swing that has electrified the city and reignited love for baseball for many in San Diego. The 22-year old superstar is having another special year, and his name is even being thrown around in MVP discussions. Fernando Tatis Jr. is the big man on campus, and Padres fans need to cherish every moment.
It’s not necessarily what Fernando Tatis Jr. does on the diamond but rather how he goes about doing it. And, of course, who doesn’t love that smile.
Best Hair: Chris Paddack
Not much debate here. Call that man Progressive with all that flow. Paddack has bounced back from a very shaky start to the season to pitch at least six innings in four of his last five starts. The hair can only take him so far, and apparently, it does not give him the moxie to start any unnecessary beef with his opposition.
Chris Paddack on his "history" with Pete Alonso:
"I can't really talk trash, he's a good ballplayer. It's a fun little matchup." pic.twitter.com/S52vbHlMxB
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) June 7, 2021
Class Clown: Blake Snell
The Padres have a lot of captivating personalities on their roster but none quite like the eccentric Blake Snell. A few more post-game interviews on ESPN, and they might just offer him a special on Netflix. The dude is funny. Similar to Paddack when looking at recent trends, Snell has also turned it around on the bump as of late. It is just unfortunate timing for the bats to now go quiet. Win, lose or draw, Snell is unapologetically himself whether it’s on the mound or in front of the camera.
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) June 6, 2021
It’s encouraging to see a long-distance relationship thrive, albeit if they are only about 60 feet apart. These two are two peas in a pod, and they have the numbers to back it up. The Darvish-Caratini battery has gone 14-5 with a 2.15 ERA over the last two seasons with the Cubs and Padres. This tandem will undoubtedly play a major role in determining whether the Padres can put a ring on it in 2021.
Find someone who has your back like Victor Caratini. ♥️
Caratini pulling a Scherzer & Mussina, after Darvish's 95 pitch (Yu got Betts for the final out of the inning).
One of my favorite parts of last night's game. pic.twitter.com/pl2oJOeGPu
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 24, 2021
Best Dressed: Eric Hosmer
Hos has been making a statement on and off the field this year. He’s taken his postgame/pre-flight suit game up several notches, and now that we’re getting into summer, I’m not sure how much more heat we can take. As Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders once said, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.” He’s a 144 million dollar man, and he’s dressing like one.
Most Changed: Tim Hill
For the first three years of Tim Hill’s career, his numbers left a lot to be desired, sporting a 4.22 ERA from 2018-2020. In 2021 however, Hill has reinvented himself and currently touts a 2.02 ERA with 32 strikeouts and nine walks across 26 innings pitched. Hill is that kid from high school that seemingly went through every stage of puberty in a three-month span and now looks unrecognizable from his freshman yearbook picture.
#MLB 2021 Pitch Quality Leaders
⭐️ Late Break (min 300 pitches)
— MLB Quality of Pitch (@qopbaseball) June 13, 2021
Best Hype Man: Manny Machado
As the father of the “Swag Chain,” this was an easy decision. Machado has a bit of a sullied reputation across the league, but Padres fans know he just wants to win and see his guys succeed. Every championship team needs a guy like this, whether it’s to light a fire in the squad in the midst of a slump or to keep the troops engaged and hungry for more during a hot streak. Manny Machado can be that guy.