Juan Soto may be the cover boy of the lastest ESPN The Magazine, though his name doesn’t adorn the back of many MLB jerseys purchased recently. With the latest list of top selling jerseys being released, the omission of the sizzling hot, shuffling Soto, is a bit surprising. In fact, of the top 20 jerseys sold, nary a member of the Washington Nationals made the list.
Soto has what all forms of baseball fans like. His dancing on the dugout and bat carrying to first base/bat flipping should appeal to younger fans. His comparison to Ted Williams and his focused approach to hitting should appeal to baseball traditionalists. His World Series ring on his finger should appeal to Nationals fans. Yet, his jersey is not a hot commodity, unlike himself.
A list of top selling baseball jerseys was released and Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto did not make the cut.
With baseball getting younger, faster, and louder, names like Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuna, and Fernando Tatis Jr., are fitting atop this list. These players are extremely talented, promote themselves, and play in winning markets. Wait, Juan Soto is talented (league leading .351 batting average a year ago) and plays in a winning market (WS Champs 2019, in which he hit .333 with three home runs during the Fall Classic).
Come on, Kike Hernandez is on this list? Jose Altuve? What has he done lately? All his exploits came from the 2017 season.
Soto is evolving into the face of the franchise, yet if another National was on this list I wouldn’t be nearly as surprised with Soto being left off. Not the case, however. Mad Max, and his aggressive personality, multi Cy Young Awards, not on the list. Stephen Strasburg, World Series Most Valuable Player, not on the list. Bryce Harper being with the Nationals must have split the player’s sales some, diluting the Scherzer and Strasburg numbers.
As an MVP candidate for this season, even before the season even gets underway, I’m guessing this is the last year Juan Soto’s name is missing from this list.