The 2021 All-MLB teams were named on Tuesday, and the Padres’ superstar was named among the 1st Team.
Major League Baseball began naming their All-MLB team, much like the NFL’s All-Pro, beginning in 2019.
The Padres’ own Kirby Yates was named to the initial 1st Team group in 2019 after having a historic season as San Diego’s closer.
The 2021 version was announced on Tuesday, and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was named the 1st Team All-MLB shortstop for the second straight year.
Fans accounted for 50% of the voting for the All-MLB Team, with a panel of experts making up the other 50%. For two years in a row, the two sides have come together and named Tatis as the game’s greatest shortstop.
— MLB (@MLB) November 24, 2021
No argument here.
The 22-year-old phenom finished first in home runs in the National League with 42. He ranked sixth among all position players with 6.6 bWAR, second to Bryce Harper in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS and OPS+. Among shortstops, he led the group in home runs, slugging, OPS, OPS+, wRC+, and wOBA, among many others. Even with guys like Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, and Brandon Crawford having stellar seasons, the fans and experts rightfully put Tatis at the very top.
The Dodgers’ Trea Turner was named as the 2nd Team shortstop.
Tatis joins Salvador Perez, Juan Soto, and Liam Hendriks as the only repeat 1st Team players from last season.
The Padres are undoubtedly fortunate to have the best shortstop in the game of baseball on their team with over a decade of contract years ahead of him. Indeed, his defense needs some improvement, as he finished third in the league in errors. However, his offensive firepower and electricity at the plate and on the bases is second to none.
His 2021 season goes down as one of the best in Padres franchise history. His 42 home runs are the second-most in a season by a Friar, his MLB-leading oWAR ranks third all-time, slugging percentage ranks second, and fourth-best in Padres history in OPS and OPS+. No Padre has completed a season like Tatis’ since perhaps Adrian Gonzalez or even back to the days of Greg Vaughn and Ken Caminiti. Plus, he is doing all this at the shortstop position, a slot where the Padres have struggled to consistently fill for decades.
With Tatis being just 22, one would assume even better days are ahead. He also finished third in NL MVP voting, marking the first time ever that a Padres player finished in the top four in MVP votes in back-to-back seasons.
As the Thanksgiving season rolls on, Padres fans should be especially thankful to have the best shortstop in baseball, and one of the faces of the entire game, wearing the brown pinstripes in San Diego.