With a double in his final at-bat in Miami on Tuesday night, a 3 for 3, two-walk game in the finale with the Marlins on Wednesday, and a 3 for 3, one-walk game in Thursday’s series opener in Cincinnati, Juan Soto has reached base in 10-straight plate appearances, over which he’s hit three home runs, two of them opposite field shots in a 3-2 win over the Reds.
As MASN’s Mark Zuckerman noted in manager Davey Martinez’s post game Zoom call last night, Soto has now reached base four times in 24 games this season, and the only other four hitters in baseball history to do that more are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, and Barry Bonds, which puts the Washington Nationals’ 22-year-old slugger in some pretty darn elite company.
With the way he’s going at the plate right now, Martinez was asked, is Soto in that same class?
“Right now, absolutely,” the fourth-year skipper said. “And I said this, I think maybe a couple years ago, where I said I played with a guy that was pretty impressive in his day, and that was Barry, I said, if [Soto] keeps going the way he’s going, I mean, if you compare anybody to Barry it would be Juan right now.”
After 142 games this season, Soto has a .325/.470/.559 line, 20 doubles, and 29 home runs in 611 plate appearances, over which he’s been worth 6.5 fWAR.
Soto, at this point, is taking the whole “don’t give away any at-bats” thing very seriously.
“Yeah, I mean, I’ve been learning this since I was in rookie ball,” he said after last night’s game. “Never give up any at-bats, at any time. No matter what’s happening, just keep grinding, keep playing baseball, because you never know, maybe one at-bat can get you out of the .300 mark, so, you just want to be locked in, keep grinding every time, every time, no matter what is happening.”
His manager talked after the club’s third straight win about the way Soto approaches his job and his determination every day he suits up to play.
“He comes to play every day,” Martinez explained. “And he wants to help us win, and he’s showing his teammates that, ‘Hey, we come every day to win baseball games.’ And he wants to go out there and do that, show his teammates that he want to do that, so I love the kid, I said that before, he’s awesome. Everything he does has been good, he’s going to get better, he works on all aspects of the game, and like I said, it’s really fun to watch him.”
What will Soto do tonight?
HERE’S THE UPDATED
NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 4 WITH THE REDS:
New lineup:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 24, 2021
NOTES: Carter Kieboom was scratched. Jordy Mercer is in at third base. Happened after Davey Martinez’s pregame Zoom call, so no explanation until post game most likely…