Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto continued his red hot spring yesterday going 3-4 with a home run and two doubles against the New York Mets.
After bursting onto the scene and posting an All-Star level season in 2018 where he hit .292 with 22 home runs and 70 runs batted in, expectations were high for the 20-year-old entering the spring.
Soto has not just lived up to but gone above and beyond these expectations this spring, hitting .400 with three home runs, 11 runs batted in and an OBP of .459.
Although it is just spring training, it is hard not to be excited by what we see from the Nationals left fielder. Soto looks even better this spring than he did at his peak last season, and at a time where many players are still trying to find their rhythm and timing, he looks in midseason form.
With the departure of Bryce Harper this offseason, there is a lot of pressure on Soto to be “the guy” in the Nationals lineup. He is expected to replace Harper’s bat and production in the middle of the order and be the player that other teams have to gameplan around when they face the Nats.
If this spring is any indication of what is to come, Soto is more than capable of filling this role. If you watch a Nationals spring training game you can see Soto’s approach at the plate is fantastic. He looks locked in like its the middle of June. He is taking his walks, not chasing bad pitches, and showing off the power he possesses to be a 30 plus home run guy.
It is easy to get overexcited by a player performing well in spring training, but Soto is playing so well so close to the regular season it easily could translate when the games start to count.
Expectations are high for Juan Soto this season and his outstanding spring will only make them grow, but the Nationals 20-year-old phenom looks ready to lead this team and even exceed those expectations.