There will be some fun storylines when Major League Baseball kicks off this spring, as well as some fascinating people to watch. Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto is getting some rightly deserved love from a New York publication as someone to keep an eye on this baseball season.
The New York Post released its 50 most interesting people in baseball column, with three Nationals making the cut. Kyle Schwarber makes the list at number 40, though I am not sure what is interesting about this cat. Max Scherzer checks in at 46, in what will be the final season of his current contract with the Nationals. The storylines abound around Mad Max. Will he rebound after a less than stellar 2020 season? Will the Nationals fall out of contention and try to trade his expiring contract? Will the Nationals try to negotiate an extension mid-season? He’ll turn 37 in July, can he stay injury free?
Juan Soto appears in the top half of the New York Post’s 50 most interesting people column, as he hopes to lead the Nationals back to the postseason.
Just outside the top 10, falling at number 11, is the Childish Bambino, himself. Juan Soto burst on the scene three years ago as a 19 year-old. In his age-20 season, he hit 34 home runs in the regular season and five more in the playoffs, including three in the world series where he posted a team best 1.178 OPS (min. 2 at-bats, sorry Michael A. Taylor).
A year ago, Soto led the league in batting average, and all of baseball in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, at age 21.
Juan Soto crushes the baseball, plays good baseball, plays smart baseball, and is the offensive leader of the Nationals. What makes him even more interesting, is his zest and flair for the game. The Soto Shuffle. The Dominican dance in the dugout. The wry smile which is now featured on the package of the 2021 Topps Baseball Cards. The Chosen Juan.
The kid is everything Major League Baseball wants for its marketing campaign. He fits squarely in the louder, faster, stronger and “Let the kids play” themes they have ushered out the past couple of years.
Let’s keep this conversation fresh, and see just how interesting Soto is come MVP ballot time next season.