Juan Soto hit just .255 in August (25 for 98), but he still got on base (.402 OBP, 24 walks in 123 plate appearances) and he still hit for power (five doubles and three home runs). He’d start to find it again as the month went on too, going 15 for 39 (.385/.442/.538) in the ten games before Sunday’s series finale with the Milwaukee Brewers.
How did he work his way out of the mini-slump? Soto, 19, told reporters on Saturday night, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes, that he stuck with the same approach that got him where he is today.
“Just keep doing Juan Soto things,” Soto said. “I just keep working. Keep coming every day to fight.”
Soto went 2 for 4 in the third of three with the Brewers, a 9-4 loss, with his seventh multi-hit showing in the last 11 games.
On the season, the rookie left fielder now has a .303/.417/.520 line with 20 doubles and 16 home runs in 92 games and 387 plate appearances since he was first called up in May.
Soto’s 20 doubles are the third-most among National League rookies, as are his 16 home runs. His .303 AVG is the NL’s best amongst qualified rookies, as is his OBP.
Soto’s SLG is second-best. His 63 walks are the most as well, and he has the second-most RBIs (53), and second-most runs scored (63).
He’s also, “... yet to go more than two games without collecting a hit,” as the Nationals wrote in their pregame notes on Sunday.
Soto’s also currently tied with Ken Griffey, Jr. for fourth on the list of the most home runs by a teenager in major league history with only the New York Giants’ Mel Ott (who hit 19 home runs as a teenager between 1926-28), his Nats’ teammate Bryce Harper (22 in 2012), and the Boston Red Sox’ Tony Conigliari (24 in 1964) ahead of him on that list.
He’s got another month to try to catch Ott, Harper, or Conigliari, and also try to set himself apart from the pack in the running for the NL Rookie of the Year. Soto turns 20 on October 25th, so he only has the last month to continue setting records for teenage major leaguers.
Soto’s back in the lineup again today, mais bien sur, for the series opener with St. Louis.