Local News

Tatis Jr. becomes first Padre on the cover of MLB The Show

SAN DIEGO – Fernando Tatis Jr. only has been in the big leagues for two years. But when San Diego Studios was picking a cover athlete for the newest iteration of their The Show franchise, they said Tatis was a “no-brainer.”

“Every single year, we want to make the best decision, “said Ramone Russell, a designer and online community manager at developer Sony San Diego. “It’s a no-brainer decision, and I think of all the last few years – this was definitely like, there’s one guy for the cover and we know who it is and he plays in San Diego” 

The 22-year-old Tatis Jr. this week became the youngest player featured on the cover of the game and the first Padre ever to appear on its cover since it debuted in 2006. He’s also the first member of the franchise to front a video game since Tony Gwynn was on the cover of Triple Play 97 in 1996.

“It means a lot — I’ve been playing this game since I can remember,” Tatis said, “and now being chosen and on the same level as those players, it’s just another goal in my life already achieved.”

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. this week was named the cover athlete of MLB: The Show 21. He is the first Padre ever to appear on the cover of the game. (Provided)

Russell said Tatis “represents everything right in the game of baseball and where baseball as a sport is moving forward.”

In a pandemic shortened 2020 season, Tatis hit .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in addition to stealing 11 bases in 59 games. For his efforts, Tatis won a NL Silver Slugger award and was named to the 2020 All-MLB Team.

He’s also quickly becoming one of the league’s most recognizable stars, charting as the league’s fourth-highest selling jersey last year.

MLB The Show is available to pre-order now ahead of its release on April 20.