With a single in his second trip to the plate on Wednesday, Juan Soto extended his career-best hit streak to 13-straight games, over which the 20-year-old outfielder is now 22 for 49 (.449/.517/.796) with six doubles, a triple, three home runs, eight walks, and 10 Ks.
The recent run of success with the bat has taken Soto from a .228/.345/.415 line overall on the season to .291/.394/.523 after he went 2 for 4 with two walks in the 14-4 win in the 2nd game of the two-game set in Atlanta’s SunTrust Park.
Soto’s manager, Davey Martinez, told reporters after the blowout win over the Braves that he likes what he’s seen from his left fielder over the last few weeks, as he’s started to heat up at the plate after a relatively slow start to his sophomore season.
“I like the fact that he’s using the whole field and he’s taking his walks,” Martinez said.
“First inning, he took his walk again, which is nice. But when he does that, he’s good. he’s really good. The biggest thing with him is just staying up the middle, not trying to do too much, not trying to pull the ball.”
Martinez also singled out 22-year-old outfielder Victor Robles for praise, noting that the rookie has shown signs of life at the plate in the last few games.
“Robles is starting to swing the bat really well again,” Martinez explained after Robles went 1 for 5 in the second game in Atlanta, “but he’s making a conscious effort of just really staying up the middle of the field and not trying to pull everything.”
Staying up the middle of the field, Martinez’s mantra in his first season-plus in D.C., is one of the keys to the recent success at the plate in the manager’s opinion, as he said after a 15-hit and 14-run explosion against the Braves.
“We stayed up the middle,” Martinez said, “and we talk a lot about just using the whole field and the boys had great at bats today, all day, we got the ball up, which we wanted to do, and they stayed up the middle of the field.”
Will the good times continue in Cincinnati this weekend?