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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Juan Soto blasts historic home run - just as his hitting coach guaranteed

Juan Soto was the best teenage hitter in Major League Baseball history, and he might be the best 20-year old hitter in MLB history, too.

His exploits at the plate over the past two seasons have ranged from impressive to historic, and everything in between.

He grew his legend even more Tuesday evening, launching a jaw-dropping home run to the train tracks in Houston.

This is a flat-out bomb. Left-handed hitters just don’t hit home runs to this part of Minute Maid Park.

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gerrit cole, home runs, juan soto, kevin long, predictions, world series

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:38 AM (#5893254)
Soto’s blast was the longest opposite field HR by a left-handed batter at Minute Maid Park in the Statcast Era.
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:03 AM (#5893257)
Trivia: Long was a teammate of Trevor Hoffman on the 1989 Arizona Wildcats squad.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:11 AM (#5893270)
Juan Soto was the best teenage hitter in Major League Baseball history, and he might be the best 20-year old hitter in MLB history, too.

I’ll grant that he may have been the best 19-year-old hitter, but he’s got pretty stiff competition at age 20 — Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Mel Ott among others all put up seasons that look a lot better, and even if you discount the old guys you’ve got Trout and A-Rod who put up monster seasons at 20.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5893292)
For me, the scary thing was that the pitch seemed to be exactly where the catcher asked for it.
   5. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5893295)
By BBREF WAR batting runs, at age 20:

Ott - 61
ARod - 58
Williams - 54
Kaline - 53
Trout - 53
Mantle - 42
Cobb - 40
Frank Robinson - 39
John McGraw - 35
Soto - 33

Historically great for sure, but not not even arguably the best.

one more:

Heyward - 32

So there's that. Two more:

Tatis Jr - 27, in almost 300 fewer PA
Acuna - 26, in almost 299 fewer
   6. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5893376)
I love watching Soto. He's got a unique stance and a beautiful swing, and of course is tremendously productive.
   7. Esoteric Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5893410)
The thing about Soto is that he beautifully walks that line between being a young, demonstrative player and yet never really going over into "well that was a jerk move" territory. He's so preternaturally self-possessed for a 20-year-old kid, while still being loose and lovable. He's such a blessing for baseball, and of course for the Nationals.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5893411)
The Shuffle is pretty great. I like him too.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5893414)
The thing about Soto is that he beautifully walks that line between being a young, demonstrative player and yet never really going over into "well that was a jerk move" territory.
Eh, the chest beating after the TOOTBLAN against Milwaukee was a bit much.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5893420)
Soto was just about as good at the plate at age 19 (on a prorated basis) as he was at 20. So I'm less worried about him becoming the next Heyward (who was +32 in his rookie year and -4 the following season).
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5893475)
From the Age-20 Leaderboard (last column is PA):
On-Base Plus Slugging
1. Ted Williams 1.045 675
2. Mel Ott .963 1416
3. Jimmie Foxx .948 664
4. Alex Rodriguez .940 885
5. Juan Soto .937 1153
6. Frank Robinson .936 667
7. Mike Trout .911 774
8. Mickey Mantle .874 1012
9. Tony Conigliaro .865 1029
10. Vada Pinson .860 816

Adjusted OPS+
1. Ted Williams 160 675
2. Mike Trout 154 774
3. Ty Cobb 145 1200
4. Mel Ott 144 1416
5. Mickey Mantle 144 1012
6. Frank Robinson 143 667
7. Jimmie Foxx 143 664
8. Juan Soto 140 1153
9. Dick Hoblitzell 136 717
10. Alex Rodriguez 136 885
That’s elite company, even if one quibbles about exact placement.
   12. Joey B. Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5893501)
I only just now realized that the Astros incredibly don't have even one lefty on their pitching roster.

Soto could potentially be in for a Reggie Jackson - style monster of a series.
   13. manchestermets Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5893509)
Just looking at Soto's bref page, how does he have only 0.134 years of service time accrued in 2018 despite playing in 116 games?
   14. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5893510)
Just looking at Soto's bref page, how does he have only 0.134 years of service time accrued in 2018 despite playing in 116 games?


I think BB-Ref isn't showing proper decimals, but rather 'years'.'days' - so, he accrued 134 days of service time in 2018 (I think 180 days constitutes a full season - I'm guessing that based on BB-Ref showing Kris Bryant at 3.171; the Cubs waited 8 or 9 days before bringing him up to buy the extra year back in 2015).
   15. Walt Davis Posted: October 24, 2019 at 02:57 AM (#5893846)
in almost 299

"almost 299?"

'years'.'days'

Yep, that's how everybody does it ... it's pretty much all that makes sense since what you need to know is days of service time.

Heyward (who was +32 in his rookie year and -4 the following season).

It wasn't even that delayed. He was still over 1000 OPS with a 295 ISO on May 30th of his rookie year. After that, 777 OPS with a 130 ISO. Since that year, a 744 OPS with a 147 ISO.

That’s elite company, even if one quibbles about exact placement.

Here's "the" interesting one:

Soto: 287/403/535, 140 OPS+, 56 HR in 1153 PA, average corner defense
Harper: 272/353/481, 125 OPS+, 42 HR in 1094 PA, plus defense across a roughly equal mix of LF/CF/RF.

That added up to 7.6 WAR for Soto, 8.9 for Harper.

Of the folks in the basic list, Soto is probably a best match for Ott and FRob given his defensive limitations. But he's a whopping 4 WAR behind Ott at 19-20 and only 1 WAR ahead of Robinson in 500 more PA. However, by WAR, he's surprisingly close to both Mantle and Griffey in fairly similar PA. So there's still hope. :-)

So by WAA for ages 19-20, he drops to 12th and is ahead of FRob, Pinson and Foxx only due to PT so 15th is probably more accurate. Next on the list, the immortal Claudell Washington. :-) (Since WAA partially adjusts for PT differences, it might be the best stat here for judging overall quality to date.)


   16. manchestermets Posted: October 24, 2019 at 07:03 AM (#5893857)
I think BB-Ref isn't showing proper decimals, but rather 'years'.'days' - so, he accrued 134 days of service time in 2018 (I think 180 days constitutes a full season - I'm guessing that based on BB-Ref showing Kris Bryant at 3.171; the Cubs waited 8 or 9 days before bringing him up to buy the extra year back in 2015).


Ah, that makes sense - baseball decimals like 3.2 IP. Thanks.
   17. Mefisto Posted: October 24, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5893878)
Soto is probably a best match for Ott and FRob given his defensive limitations.


Ott was a solid defender at 19-20 (+4 and +7 rfield). Soto is -4 overall so far.
   18. Rally Posted: October 24, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5893905)
Ott was a solid defender at 19-20 (+4 and +7 rfield). Soto is -4 overall so far.


He's getting better though, -5 last year and +1 this season. Metrics can be fluky, but this passes the eye test, he looks like he's improved.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 24, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5893907)

That added up to 7.6 WAR for Soto, 8.9 for Harper.

The claim in TFA was "best 20-year-old hitter", not player, so I think using Rbat and OPS+ is the right way to evaluate it. Overall player is the more interesting question, though.

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