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Awards season has officially begun with Gold Gloves given out on Sunday to baseball’s premier defenders where the San Diego Padres came up empty-handed.
On Monday, Major League Baseball revealed the finalists for the four major awards from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which include MVP, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.
The San Diego Padres were represented among the finalists by their beloved rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. — up for 2019 Rookie of the Year.
The nomination is a surprise to few, if any, due to Tatis’ unforgettable rookie season which included jaw-dropping plays all over the field.
At the plate, Tatis Jr. finished his season with a .317 average, 22 homers, and 53 RBI.
Defensively, he made diving plays, impossible throws, and leaping grabs that one could only shake their head at. He was easily Manny Machado‘s equal defensively, which is almost an impossible comparison when thought about.
The base paths is where Tatis really separated himself from the ordinary, however.
He scored multiple times while being at second on groundballs in the infield, including one to the pitcher against the Giants in San Francisco.
The youngster tagged up from 3rd and scored on a pop up to the 2nd baseman that was a step off the infield dirt.
His best trick, though, was escaping a pickle that saw him avoid a tag going back to first that could have landed him a role in The Matrix.
In August, however, after only 84 games, the 20-year-old Tatis was shut down for the season by the organization due to lower back issues.
The announcement ended the chance at a playoff run for the Padres as a team, and also ended some chances at records and awards that Tatis was well on his way to winning if healthy.
One of those very easily could have been the Rookie of the Year award, but he will likely lose votes due to the 78 missed games.
Likely, it will go to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, who had an excellent and historic year of his own.
Alonso finished with 55 home runs (a rookie record) and 120 RBI.
A full season of Fernando Tatis Jr. against Alonso’s monster power numbers and Mike Soroka‘s 13 wins and 2.68 ERA would have made the NL Rookie of the Year race a lot more interesting than it is likely to turn out.
Win or lose at Monday night’s award ceremony, it is Tatis Jr. who has won the hearts of San Diego’s fans with his energy, his passion, and his other-worldly skills.