Who were Fernando Tatis Jr.’s favorite MLB players growing up?
San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. has been around the game his entire life.
His father, Tatis Sr., spent 11 years in the majors, with the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Mets. He’s famous for hitting two grand slams in a single inning in 1999, a feat no other player has achieved. The achievement came just months after Junior was born, on January 2.
So, Junior grew up around the players who came before him, and many of them inspired him and shaped his burgeoning career. In a conversation with MLB insider Robert Murray this week, he talked about being a kid in his father’s clubhouses:
"“I have more memories when he (Fernando Tatis Sr.) was with the Mets. I remember Jose Reyes always having fun with me and my little brother. Angel Pagan was always a great guy to us and to my family. I had Carlos Beltran, too. Most of the Latin guys were really close with my dad and they were really great to us. That was a pretty great clubhouse and a pretty good team.”"
Tatis also dished on his favorite players:
"“As a kid, I looked up to a lot of guys. I feel like my game has small parts of those guys. Derek Jeter. Jose Reyes. Hanley Ramirez. A-Rod. Those guys were the main ones growing up. I haven’t talked much to those guys about baseball, but one guy that I call my “Godfather” in baseball is Robinson Cano. That’s the mind that I’ve picked the most. He knows a lot about hitting, a lot about baseball and how to slow down the game. Having the chance to learn from a guy like that is huge.”"
Seeing the names of Tatis’ idols growing up reminds you how young he is. He was 20 years old when he debuted in 2019, less than a decade after his father’s final MLB season. Now 23 years old, he’s already achieved immense success, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting, winning two Silver Slugger awards, earning a spot on the 2021 All-Star squad, and earning MVP votes in each of the last two seasons.
We can’t wait to see what he does next.