According to a report by MASN’s Byron Kerr tonight, the Washington Nationals will call 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto up tomorrow after the latest in a string of injuries that have left the major league roster stretched thin.
Howie Kendrick went down today, suffering a “right achilles injury” this afternoon in the first game of the Nats’ doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Davey Martinez told reporters after the game that Kendrick ruptured the achilles tendon and will have surgery that will likely end his season.
Soto went 2 for 4 on Friday night in his eighth game at Double-A Harrisburg after he started the season at Low-A Hagerstown and was promoted to High-A Potomac earlier this Spring.
On the season, Soto, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.5M as a 16-year-old back in 2015, has a .362/.462/.757 line, 10 doubles, four triples, and 14 home runs in his three stops in the Nationals’ minor league system this season.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis wrote earlier this week that Soto is, “an elite hitting prospect, [who] could jump from Double-A to bolster a Washington outfield getting little out of guys not named Bryce Harper.”
With Kendrick out too, Andrew Stevenson looking green, Michael A. Taylor struggling at the plate, Adam Eaton recovering from ankle surgery, and Rafael Baustista done for the season after suffering a knee injury, the Nationals have apparently made the decision to give Soto a shot in spite of his age and relative inexperience.
Juan Soto being called up to the #Nats, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed. He is expected to join the Nats in D.C. for sunday— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) May 20, 2018
The Nationals are indeed calling up Juan Soto tomorrow, according to a person familiar. @masnKerr was first with the news.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 20, 2018
Martinez was apparently unwilling to confirm the news when he spoke to reporters after the Nationals’ second loss to the Dodgers today in the doubleheader in the nation’s capital:
Martinez wouldn’t confirm Soto’s promotion. Only said Sanchez will remain on big league roster.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) May 20, 2018
Ranked No. 2 overall in the Nationals’ system, Soto was described by MLB’s Pipeline scouts as having the, “... makings of a middle-of-the-order hitter,” and being, “... a potential batting champion at maturity, especially if he can continue to add power in the coming years.”
Will we see a Soto, Michae A. Taylor, Bryce Harper outfield in tomorrow’s series finale with the Dodgers.