Washington Nationals: How Juan Soto stacks up to Rookie of the Year field

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals follows his two RBI double against the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on June 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals follows his two RBI double against the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on June 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – JUNE 26: Freddy Peralta #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks to the dugout during the seventh inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park June 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – JUNE 26: Freddy Peralta #51 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks to the dugout during the seventh inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park June 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

P Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee

4 starts, 22.2 IP, 1.59 ERA

Peralta has been nearly untouchable in four starts with the Brewers, allowing zero runs in three of those outings. He doesn’t throw exceptionally hard (91.5 mph), but he has already generated 25 strikeouts with his fastball. Overall, he has a 13.9 strikeout rate, which is tops among starting pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched.

Peralta was an unheralded prospect (no. 9 in the Brewers’ system), but his small-sample dominance in the majors thus far might be relatively sustainable. His 1.78 FIP backs up his sterling ERA, as does his 2.66 ERA across three minor league levels from 2017-18.

P Jack Flaherty, St. Louis

11 starts, 61.2 IP, 2.92 ERA

Flaherty has been masterfully consistent this season for the Cards. The 22-year-old righty has allowed one run or less in 7 of his 11 starts, and is yet to surrender more than four earned runs in any outing. He K’s over a batter an inning, and has a top-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio among NL pitchers (min. 60 innings).

He has also flashed top-shelf talent, completing two outings this season with 13 strikeouts, at least seven innings pitched, and just one run allowed. More of those performances will quickly move Flaherty up the Rookie of the Year ladder.

OF Jesse Winker, Cincinnati

70 games, .265/.379/.379

Winker posted a 133 OPS+ for the Reds last season, and just slipped under the rookie cutoff to remain eligible in 2018. He isn’t having quite as good of a campaign this year, but his plate discipline and bat control really stand out. Winker is one of eight major leaguers with more walks than strikeouts this season.

Winker is yet to show quite enough power for a corner outfielder, and his defense has been absolutely abhorrent. Still, his impressive patience at the plate is indicative of a quality big leaguer going forward, and that deserves a mention as one of the best rookies in the National League.

Next: Grading the Nationals' offensive performers

Juan Soto has been tough to watch defensively. Still, his impressive patience and power at the plate are indicative of a perennial All-Star going forward, perhaps beginning this season. He currently sits as the award favorite, although Buehler, Acuna, and a mix of others are hot on his tail.

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