Fernando Tatis Jr. had the bat flip of the MLB playoffs, but the Padres star said the José Bautista-esque celebration was only the second-best of his career

  • San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. ripped an opposite-field blast over the right-field fence to extend the Friars' seventh-inning lead to 9-6 over the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday night.
  • After launching the 3-2 pitch out of the park, the 21-year-old calmly walked out of the batter's box and, with a straight face, issued one of the best bat flips of the MLB playoffs so far.
  • Though his celebration has been compared to José Bautista's epic bat flip from the 2015 ALDS, Tatis insists that it wasn't the most impressive of his career, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

On the brink of elimination from the MLB playoffs, San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. ripped an opposite-field blast over the right-field fence to extend the Friars' seventh-inning lead by two Thursday night.

But perhaps even more notable than Tatis' monster home run — his second dinger of the night — was the 21-year-old's emphatic bat flip celebrating the feat.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (right) and Manny Machadocelebrate Tatis' two-run homer.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

After launching St. Louis Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos' 3-2 pitch out of the park, Tatis calmly walked out of the batter's box and, with a straight face, flung his bat towards the dugout. He walked a few more feet in triumph before picking up his stride and circling the bases to cement the Padres' 9-6 lead.

The shortstop's celebration was reminiscent of José Bautista's mega-famous bat flip during Game 5 of the Toronto Blue Jays' 2015 American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers. And even though Tatis' defiant toss is already being compared to some of the best bat flips in the history of the game, the young star insists that Thursday's celebration wasn't even the best of his career.

According to ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan, Tatis told the media after San Diego's 11-9 win that his most impressive bat flip came while he was playing for the Estrellas Orientales of the Dominican Winter League. Passan found a clip of the celebration in question, which he posted to Twitter early Friday morning.

Still, Tatis acknowledged that Thursday night's homer was straight out of many young baseball players' dreams.

"Since I was a kid," Tatis said, "that's what we play for."

Tatis and the Padres will face the Cardinals for the third and final game of their Wild Card series Friday at 7:08 p.m. The winner will advance to the National League Division Series against the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers beginning Tuesday.

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