In a shock move on Saturday night, the Washington Nationals called prized prospect, Juan Soto, up to the majors. A bold move that may pay off in a big way.
After Howie Kendrick‘s devastating injury was confirmed late on Saturday, the Washington Nationals called up their prized prospect, outfielder Juan Soto. He should step right into the lineup, starting on Sunday.
Soto has been on the fast-track ever since the season started. He began in Single-A with the Hagerstown Suns, before earning a quick promotion to the Potomac Nationals. Then after just 15 games with the P-Nats, he was promoted to the Harrisburg Senators in Double-A.
Evidently, the continued production as he continues to move up the minor league ladder has earned him the biggest promotion of them all.
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The decisive factor in this move was Kendrick suffering a season-ending achillies injury on Saturday. This left the Nationals needing yet more outfield depth.
So rather than make a temporary call-up like Yadiel Hernandez, Mike Rizzo decided to gamble on Soto. But make no mistake, the young outfielder has earned his place on this team.
This season he possesses utterly ridiculous statistics. A .362 average, 14 homes runs, 52 RBI and a 1.218 OPS which is higher than any qualified major-leaguer (Mookie Betts is the nearest at 1.205).
The main question with Soto coming up to the majors will be can that performance translate to the highest level. Although he may not be able to produce at the gaudy level he has in the minor leagues, he will be able to perform at a solid level, at the very least.
He posses some great plate skills that will certainly help him make it with the Nationals. In 2018 he has amassed 29 walks with just 28 strikeouts, which will translate in some form to the majors.
Best case scenario, the Nationals could be calling up a potential superstar in the making. In the minors, he has exceeded numbers that even Bryce Harper managed. In his minor league career, Harper hit .300 with a .397 OBP and a .917 OPS. Soto has beaten all of those figures so far.
Just make sure to temper expectations for the youngster. After all, he is only 19 years old. He’s only played eight games in Double-A, and it’s a big step up to MLB. Also, even the best players can have an adjustment period at the top level. Heard of Mike Trout? He hit .220 and only managed 5 home runs in his 40 games of big league action.
This is a huge statement of intent for the Washington Nationals to call up Juan Soto. And many fans will be hoping he’s the player to provide a huge injection of life into the offense that’s been stuttering so far.