Juan Soto hit his 20th home run of the 2018 campaign last night. It was his fourth home run in the last four games. Soto, 19, has hits in eight straight games now, over which he’s gone 12 for 35 (.343 AVG), and he’s now just two home runs behind Bryce Harper for second on the list of the players with the most homers by a teenager in MLB history, having passed the New York Giants’ Mel Ott with No. 20, to take over third on the list all by himself.
Harper hit 22 in 2012, and only the Boston Red Sox’ Tony Conigliaro, who hit 24 in 1964, has hit more homers as a teenager in MLB history.
Soto will turn 20 in October, so he only has 14 games to try to catch Harper and Conigliaro.
I wouldn’t bet against Soto at this point, especially considering, as mentioned above, that he has four home runs in his last four games.
He’s also now hit safely in 17 of his last 21, and his one walk last night, his 71st of the season, set a new record for the most by a teenager in the majors since 1900, though, every walk that he takes at this point sets a new record since he passed Ott (66 BBs, 1926-28) back on September 4th.
Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg talked earlier this week about just how impressive Soto has been in his rookie campaign.
“I mean, for 19 years old, I think the sky is the limit,” Strasburg said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after his last start. “I think the one thing you recognize from being in the game for some time is the plate discipline, his ability to spit on good pitches.
“That’s the one thing that’s really stood out to me. A guy throws a really good pitch, and he doesn’t flinch. He sees it early. It’s reminiscent of watching Tony Gwynn growing up, really. It’s just that extra edge of, as soon as the pitcher is releasing the ball just seeing if it’s a ball or strike immediately. And never really being off-balance, never really being fooled on a pitch. It’s been impressive.”
What will Juan Soto do today?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME WITH THE BRAVES:
#Nats vs #Braves 2 of 3 (at 1:05): pic.twitter.com/BvXvUtIBuF— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) September 15, 2018