Our latest Washington Nationals prospect profile takes a look at outfielder Juan Soto, who is one of the players to watch at the lower levels of the minor leagues
In 2013, the Washington Nationals signed international free agent Victor Robles. Once he made it to the Gulf Coast League, he immediately got everyone’s attention. Juan Soto is about to do the same. For those of you that have not heard the name yet, Juan Soto is an 18-year-old outfielder who is playing at low-A Hagerstown.
He is currently playing the outfield, but he is athletic enough to play corner infield. Positions don’t really matter for players like Soto, but his bat on the other hand does. He has done nothing but hit since he became a pro player in the states.
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In the GCL, Soto hit .361 with five home runs and 31 RBI in 45 games. That is where he spent the bulk of his time in the pros last year, but he did play six games for shorrt-season Auburn. In those six games, he .429. In 2017, expect more of the same.
The director of Nationals Player Development, Mark Scialabba, said in an interview with Byron Kerr of MASN Sports last month that “He [Soto] is a natural hitter with good leverage to swing, size, strength,”.
Soto is getting his chance to prove to the world that he is a top prospect in 2017 and he is doing just that. In 12 games so far with the Suns, he is hitting .400 with two home runs and a .466 on-base percentage in 65 at bats.
Once again he is showing that his bat is ready to shine. Geraldo Gilberto with MiLB.com sat down with the Hagerstown Suns manager, Patrick Anderson, at the beginning of this season and he had nothing but good things to say about Soto. The most important point he made was that “His approach as a whole is very mature.” For a player who is just 18 years old, having a mature approach to the plate will help him succeed.
Soto won’t be a secret for long and he will likely be one of the many jewels that solidify the Nats farm system. Imagine if Soto shoots up to the top of some prospect list the way Robles did last year. The talk that the Washington Nationals liquidated the farm for Eaton would slowly disappear. More importantly, the Nats would have that top ten farm system that they covet once again.
Soto shows the upside that all scouts are looking for and a pure left-handed swing that is extremely hard to find at such a young age. Soto is going to join Robles as one of the top young prospects in the Washington Nationals farm system. Expect to hear his name more often this season.