Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. Named Cover Athlete for 'MLB The Show 21'

Fernando Tatis Jr. had a huge 2020 season, and it has led to him being the face of a popular video [...]

Fernando Tatis Jr. had a huge 2020 season, and it has led to him being the face of a popular video game. On Monday, PlayStation announced that the San Diego Padres star player will be on the cover of MLB The Show 21. At 22 years old, Tatis becomes the youngest player to ever be chosen for the baseball video game, dating back to its debut in 2006.

"Pardon the interruption to your scheduled programming," Tatis says in an announcement video from PlayStation. "I've been asked to apologize for changing the game. "Apparently, I've been breaking the unwritten rules of baseball. "I'm sorry if things got too exciting and this isn't the game that you remember. But here's the thing. We're never going back."

Tatis took some heat last season for the way he played the game. One moment that stands out is him hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 during the game when the Padres were leading 10-3 against the Texas Rangers. At the time, Padres manager Jayce Tingler said that he gave the sign to take the pitch and not swing. Rangers manager Chris Woodward claimed that swinging at the 3-0 pitch "challenged the unwritten rules in today's game."

After the game, Tatis explained what happened. "I was locked in, man," he said to reporters. "I was trying to produce for my team. That was one me. [I] didn't look to my third-base coach. That was on me. What can I say?" Tatis apologized and then told reporters that he will "take the pitch" next time.

While some may not like Tatis for breaking the unwritten rules of baseball, there's no denying his talent. He had a breakout season in shortened 2020 season, hitting 17 home runs in 59 games. He helped the Padres advance to the NLDS in their first postseason appearance in 16 years and finished fourth in NL MVP voting. In 143 games, Tatis has hit 39 homers, the most by any primary shortstop within his first 150 career games dating back to 1900, according to MLB.com. MLB The Show launches on Apr. 20 and will be available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.