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Juan José Soto Pacheco (born October 25, 1998) is a Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Juan Soto
Juan Soto (40536136683) (cropped).jpg
Soto with the Nationals in 2019
Washington Nationals – No. 22
Outfielder
Born: (1998-10-25) October 25, 1998 (age 20)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
May 20, 2018, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
(through July 20, 2019)
Batting average.294
Home runs39
Runs batted in132
Teams

Contents

CareerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

Soto signed with the Washington Nationals as an international free agent in July 2015.[1][2] He made his professional debut in 2016 with the Gulf Coast League Nationals in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and was named the Gulf Coast League Most Valuable Player after hitting .368 with five home runs and 32 runs batted in (RBIs).[3][4][5] In September 2016 he was promoted to the Auburn Doubledays of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League for the final few games of the 2016 season.[6] Appearing in six games for the Doubledays, he went 9-for-21 (.429) with three doubles and an RBI.[5] He finished the 2016 season with an overall batting average of .368, five home runs, and 32 RBIs.[5]

Promoted to play with the Hagerstown Suns of the Class A South Atlantic League in 2017, Soto got off to a hot start before he injured his ankle while sliding into home in a May 2, 2017, game and landed on the disabled list. At the time of his injury, he was batting .360 with three home runs in 23 games with the Suns.[7] In July 2017, MLB Pipeline ranked Soto as the Nationals' second-best prospect[8] and the 42nd-best among all prospects.[9] Soto did not return to the Suns in 2017, but he had two rehabilitation stints with the Gulf Coast Nationals, one of five games in July 2017 and a second one of four games in September 2017 before injuring his hamstring and finally being shut down for the season.[5][10] In the nine games with the Gulf Coast League Nationals, he went 8-for-25 (.320) with a double, a triple, and four RBIs,[5] and he finished the 2017 season with an overall batting average of .351, three home runs, and 18 RBIs.[5]

Soto entered 2018 as one of the top prospects in the minor leagues.[11][12] He started the season playing with the Hagerstown Suns, hitting .373 in 16 games with five home runs and 24 RBIs,[5] before he was promoted early in the season to the Potomac Nationals in the Class A-Advanced Carolina League.[13][14] After 15 games with Potomac, in which he hit .371 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs,[5] he was promoted to play with the Harrisburg Senators in the Class AA Eastern League.[15] He had appeared in eight games for the Senators, going 10-for-31 (.323) with two doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBIs,[5] when on May 20, 2018, the Washington Nationals called him up to the major leagues for the first time to reinforce their outfield after an injury to second baseman and outfielder Howie Kendrick.[16].

Washington NationalsEdit

Soto made his major-league debut on May 20, 2018, becoming the youngest player in the major leagues at 19 years 207 days,[17] and the first player born in 1998 to appear in a major-league game.[17] He came on as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and struck out swinging against right-handed relief pitcher Erik Goeddel.

He made his first major league start the next day, playing left field in a game against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park, and on the first pitch of his first plate appearance of the game he got his first major-league hit, a 422-foot (128.6-meter) opposite-field three-run homer off of Robbie Erlin.[17][18] After rounding the bases and returning to the dugout, Soto stepped back out for a curtain call from the crowd.[18] He became the youngest player in franchise history to hit a home run[18] and the first teenager to homer in a major-league game since Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper did it at the age of 19 in 2012.[17] "He's a special player," Harper said of Soto after the game.[18] Soto became the youngest major league player since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 to be intentionally walked in a game when Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter elected to put him on base automatically rather than give him an opportunity to drive in a run on May 29.[19]

In June 2018, shortly after being called up to the major leagues, Soto was listed by Baseball America as the Nationals' top prospect, overtaking fellow outfielder Víctor Robles, and the fourth-best overall prospect in baseball.[20]

Soto contributed to a notable oddity when he hit a home run against the New York Yankees on June 18, 2018. The contest had actually began on May 15, 2018, but was suspended until June 18 due to inclement weather with a score tied at 3-all. Since stoppage occurred in the fifth inning, a team would have been awarded the win if they were ahead, which implied that he had technically hit a home run before his MLB debut. However, to prevent confusion, it was added in sequence to his already-accrued home run total, as his sixth home run. He had hit three home runs in his first five plate appearances against the Yankees.[21] On June 21, he started as the cleanup hitter for the first time in the major leagues, in a contest versus the Baltimore Orioles. He doubled home the winning run in a 4–2 victory.[22] Soto's first multi-home run game came on June 13, 2018, against the New York Yankees, and he repeated the feat on June 29, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park against the Philadelphia Phillies, tallying two home runs, four hits, and five RBIs as the Nationals defeated the Phillies 17-7.[23] Soto had another multi-home run game against the Phillies on September 11, 2018, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the second game of a doubleheader.

International careerEdit

On October 29, 2018, he was selected to the MLB All-Stars Team for the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Rafael Martin called up, Xavier Cedeno designated for assignment". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  2. ^ "Nationals sign Dominican outfielder Juan Soto". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  3. ^ Kerr, Byron. "17-year-old Juan Soto making good progress for GCL Nationals". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Washington Nationals prospect Juan Soto leads Gulf Coast League All-Stars - MiLB.com News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Juan Soto Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com.
  6. ^ Kerr, Byron. "Juan Soto promoted to short-season Auburn". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  7. ^ Kerr, Byron (May 6, 2017). "Juan Soto on disabled list with a right ankle injury". MASN Sports. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "2017 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  9. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (July 25, 2017). "Top 100 Prospects: A melting pot of mashers". MLB.com. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  10. ^ "Minor League Wednesday: A look at how the Nationals' prospects performed in 2017". The Washington Post. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  11. ^ Janes, Chelsea (7 May 2018). "The growing legend of Juan Soto" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  12. ^ Castillo, Jorge (7 February 2018). "Meet Juan Soto, Nationals' next great slugging hope who 'you'd want to marry your daughter'" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  13. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Juan Soto turning heads in minor leagues".
  14. ^ "Soto promoted to Class A Advanced Potomac". MiLB.com.
  15. ^ "Juan Soto promoted to Double-A". MLB.com.
  16. ^ Collier, Jamal (May 20, 2018). "Nationals call up Soto, youngest player in MLB". MLB. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d Castillo, Jorge (21 May 2018). "Juan Soto makes powerful first impression as Nationals rout Padres" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  18. ^ a b c d "Nationals' Juan Soto, 19, homers in first start; 'special,' Bryce Harper says". ESPN. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Finney, Blake (May 30, 2018). "Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper on the warpath". District on Deck. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  20. ^ "NEW Top 100 Prospects". Baseball America. June 1, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  21. ^ Chávez, Chris (June 18, 2018). "Watch: Juan Soto hits moonshot home run in game technically before his MLB debut". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Collier, Jamal (June 21, 2018). "Soto's clutch 2-run double carries Nats over O's". MLB.com. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  23. ^ https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/29/juan-soto-nationals-play-longball/
  24. ^ "2018日米野球 MLBオールスターチーム コーチ・出場予定選手発表". 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). October 29, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Víctor Robles
Youngest Player in the National League
2018
Succeeded by
Fernando Tatís Jr.