Juan Soto played in all ten and had hits in nine of the ten games on Washington’s recently-completed homestand, over which the Nationals were 6-4 after dropping two of three with the Atlanta Braves this weekend to wrap up what was supposed to be the longest stretch of games at home in 2019 (though the one postponement vs Philly leaves it as one of two ten-game homestands now).
Soto went 14 for 35 (.400/.463/.743) with two doubles, two triples, two homers, four walks, and nine strikeouts in those games, leaving him with a .305/.399/.534 line overall on the season with a total of 15 doubles, three triples, and 12 home runs over 67 games and 291 plate appearances.
Considering the fact that Soto, 20 years old, had a .228/.345/.415 line on the year as of May 16th (33 games, 145 PAs) after he got off to a relatively slow start in his second major league season, it’s even more impressive that his numbers are where they are right now.
“He’s really staying on the baseball well,” Davey Martinez told reporters when the Nationals’ manager was asked what he’d seen from Soto over the course of his recent run on Sunday afternoon.
“When he was going good last year,” Martinez continued, “that was one thing that he really, really worked on, is getting the ball in the strike zone and just staying on the ball and using the whole field, and he’s doing that really well now.”
A 14-game hit streak between May 17th-31st took Soto from a .236/.353/.425 line on the year to a .301/.401/.551 line heading into play on June 1st, at which point he talked about what he thought was behind the success at the plate.
“I think I’m seeing the ball really well,” Soto said. “I’m still seeing it really well. I was seeing it really well before, but just a couple of adjustments I made that make me feel a little better.
“We’ve been working with [Hitting Coach] Kevin Long and [Assistant Hitting Coach] Joe [Dillon],” he added.
“We’ve been working on the balance to be 50/50 on my legs, and it was amazing. We have been working every day, every day, and you see the results.”
Soto has been rolling for over 34 games now, with a .381/.452/.651 line since the start of his 14-game hit streak, which ended on June 1st.
Going into tonight’s series opener in Miami, Soto has a nine-game hit streak going. Will he make it ten?