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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Nats ride Soto’s historic 2-HR game to split in NY

NEW YORK—The first game Juan Soto played in this season came at State Mutual Stadium, the home of the Braves’ Class A Rome affiliate, which seats a little more than 5,000 people. Soto offered a glimpse of his enormous potential in that game, when he homered for Hagerstown, but even then it would have been difficult to imagine how different his stage would be just two months later. And how well he would handle it.

On Wednesday night, Soto played for the first time in his career at Yankee Stadium in front of 45,030 fans. And he responded by becoming the fifth-youngest player in Major League history to record a multihomer game, swatting a three-run homer in the fourth that squeaked over the left-field wall and a towering 436-foot solo homer to center field in the seventh to power the Nats to a 5-4 victory.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 14, 2018 at 01:25 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juan soto, nationals, yankees

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   1. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5691903)
History ain't what it used to be.
   2. formerly dp Posted: June 14, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5691941)
Are the Nats planning to bench/demote him with Eaton back? I remember that being the plan when they recalled him--but there's no way to justify that decision now, right?
   3. Stormy JE Posted: June 14, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5691973)
Are the Nats planning to bench/demote him with Eaton back? I remember that being the plan when they recalled him--but there's no way to justify that decision now, right?
If any Nats outfielder's gonna ride the bench, it's MAT and his .220/.289/.381 slash line.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5691977)
Taylor has been pretty marginal. You have to think Soto, Eaton, and Harper is Washington's best outfield, even if the defense suffers a bit.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5692015)
Some of the other articles mention that Soto is the fourth teenager to have a multi-homer game at one of the Yankee Stadiums, after Andruw Jones, Griffey, and Brian McCall. McCall only played seven major league games, and those were his only two home runs. Apparently he became an artist, and he later said this about his baseball career.
Actually I hated professional sports. I needed my mother to comfort me on bad days. So I hated it, but the best thing was that it paid for my brother’s going to Julliard. He’s a composer. So that was the real function of baseball in my life was to pay for Julliard.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5692021)
Are the Nats planning to bench/demote him with Eaton back? I remember that being the plan when they recalled him--but there's no way to justify that decision now, right?

That undoubtedly was the plan; Soto only had 35 PAs above Class A when called up due to multiple outfield injuries. He was slated to be an emergency fill-in. Soto has made that plan irrelevant; he's not going anywhere anytime soon.
   7. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5692075)
Looks like Taylor will only play against lefties, so they can rotate which of the other three lefties (Soto, Harper, Eaton) will sit on those days
   8. Bote Man Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5692078)
It was interesting to see M.A.T. suddenly improve his strike zone observation at the plate when the return of Adam Eaton became clearer, but up to that point he was basically an automatic out in the lineup. His defense has proven good to very good, so they might keep him on the bench for a late inning substitute.

More interesting to me has been the number of smart long-time Nats fans who are not entirely jokingly wondering where Bryce Harper will be playing next season (hint: they're not talking about him in a Nats uniform either). Having a stud outfielder who has great strike zone discipline and good power is quite the luxury; too bad Bryce does not fit that description lately, whereas Soto does.
   9. Bote Man Posted: June 14, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5692085)
Looks like Taylor will only play against lefties, so they can rotate which of the other three lefties (Soto, Harper, Eaton) will sit on those days

So far Soto has hit better against LHP than RHP, even though the plan was to work him into the lineup slowly and only against RHP. To say he has opened some eyes is a gross understatement, but I'm willing to wait until the League catches up to him and see how he adjusts. I'm still enjoying the giddiness of watching him pwn opposing pitchers on a frequent basis though.

LHB Soto vs
RHP 18 Games: 45PA, 316/422/447, 9K, 7BB, 1ibb, 1HR
LHP 14 Games: 31PA, 385/484/923, 2K, 5BB, 4HR

I mean, this can't last, but my goodness!!
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 14, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5692099)
Actually I hated professional sports. I needed my mother to comfort me on bad days. So I hated it, but the best thing was that it paid for my brother’s going to Julliard. He’s a composer. So that was the real function of baseball in my life was to pay for Julliard.


This is actually a very nice little story. I think well-meaning people try to push us in directions where they see we have the most aptitude, even when those directions aren't consistent with the things we personally value the most.
   11. John DiFool2 Posted: June 14, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5692100)
Note he isn't one of those raw talents with oodles of power but no command of the zone. 12 BB only 11 K's.
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 14, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5692141)
Note he isn't one of those raw talents with oodles of power but no command of the zone. 12 BB only 11 K's.

And half of his hits have been to the opposite field. Shift that.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 14, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5692144)
Some of the other articles mention that Soto is the fourth teenager to have a multi-homer game at one of the Yankee Stadiums, after Andruw Jones, Griffey, and Brian McCall. McCall only played seven major league games, and those were his only two home runs.

Those home runs by McCall were on the final day of the season, and the last one was hit off the soon-to-be World Series MVP.
   14. Rally Posted: June 14, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5692265)
Are the Nats planning to bench/demote him with Eaton back? I remember that being the plan when they recalled him--but there's no way to justify that decision now, right?


He can't possible be as good as he's been so far (189 OPS+) but Soto could wind up with the best season ever for a teenager. As of now that distinction goes to Mel Ott's 1928 season (322/397/524, 139 OPS+ in 500 PA). Tony Conigliaro (137) was right behind him.

If he falls off from that pace, he still has a very good chance to rank ahead of guys like Harper (118), Mantle (117), and Griffey (108). And even if he doesn't do anything else this year, he's already had a better age 19 season than Mike Trout and Alex Rodriguez.

I saw him play a month ago in AA. At the time I didn't think he was even the best teenager on the field*. But Soto is really good, and almost nobody in history has been able to play this well, this soon.

*I might be a bit biased since the other kid is the son of one of my all-time favorite Angels, and he signed baseballs for both of my daughters.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: June 14, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5692275)
*I might be a bit biased since the other kid is the son of one of my all-time favorite Angels, and he signed baseballs for both of my daughters.


Jeff Mathis has a kid that old?

   16. JJ1986 Posted: June 14, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5692511)
I'm kind of surprised Dante Bichette is one of anyone's favorite Angels.
   17. Rally Posted: June 14, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5692559)
You’d have to have lived through the 1990 Angels to understand.
   18. Bote Man Posted: June 15, 2018 at 01:08 AM (#5692599)
All aboard the Juan Soto bandwagon while there's still room!!
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 15, 2018 at 01:22 AM (#5692601)
You’d have to have lived through the 1990 Angels to understand.
I'm more of a Mike Fetters guy myself.
   20. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 15, 2018 at 01:58 AM (#5692605)
Dickie Schofield is tanned, rested, and ready.

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