SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The votes just weren't in his favor, but Fernando Tatis Jr. is still considered the NL MVP of the 2021 season by many.
Thursday, Tatis Jr. came in third in the race for NL MVP, behind the Nationals' Juan Soto and Phillies' Bryce Harper. Harper went home with his second MVP award of his career.
The announcement, surprising many fans, had Tatis Jr. taking home only two first-place votes for 244 points, behind Soto with six firsts and 274 points, and Harper with 17 of 30 first-place votes and 348 points in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
"It's always been a dream just to be in this conversation. Winning this award is special no matter what. Every year you try to play for an MVP. I'm happy to be in this conversation," Tatis Jr. said during the announcement on MLB Network.
This is the second time in his first three seasons Tatis Jr. has finished in the top five of NL MVP voting.
Despite the result, many Padres fans would likely call 'Nando's 2021 campaign nothing short of MVP caliber.
The star shortstop was awarded his second-consecutive Silver Slugger for his offensive performance just last week, all while spending 30 games on the injured list throughout the season mending a shoulder injury.
In 130 games played in 2021, Tatis Jr. belted 42 homers (the most in the National League), 97 RBIs, and recorded 99 runs. He also swiped 25 bags for third in NL steals, and recorded a .975 OPS (on-base plus slugging), which is used to combine how well a hitter can reach base and hit for average and power.
Behind the metrics, he delivered incredible moments that left fans in awe. Defensively, he shined at shortstop with leaping grabs and laser throws across the diamond, before moving to center field to address his shoulder injury. Offensively, fans will undoubtedly recall when he drove a home run out of Dodger stadium, another onto the train tracks at Minute Maid Park to tie a game in the 9th, and crushed three homers in a game versus Arizona.
On the AL side, the Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani was unanimously named AL MVP, with all 30 first-place votes.