The Call Up: Juan Soto

Okay so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted , but in my defense I started a new job in a totally different industry so it’s been a whirlwind lately.

Anyways, Injuries suck. Losing sucks .Blown saves suck, Losing doubleheaders on blown saves really suck. But I’m excited and intrigued. Why? Because as the 9th inning was going to shit, this leaked and was later confirmed by multiple reports :

Woah

Since some of you are probably curious why I’m writing this instead of going to sleep after a bad day of doubleheader failure I’ll try and explain why this is a big deal

1.Who is this Juan Soto guy?

He is a corner outfielder who is considered to be the Nats top prospect not named Victor Robles. He doesn’t have the defense (when I say corner OF I mean “Should probably stick to LF”) but has some incredibly highly regarded hitting and base running skills. This translates to “he is a guy who can score runs and not run into super irritating outs”. Scouting reports generally indicate the has/will have “70 score” hitting. In english this means “his hitting is next level good and will be a top tier player”. His ceiling is a guy who will absolutely wow you with his ability to knock the ball in just the right place with a swing that is beautiful even the untrained eye. He has also managed to hit some video game level numbers in the minors( a 362/462/76s slash line at all levels of the minors) and has been described as a “potential future hitting champion”.

2. Okay so why is it a big deal a good hitter is getting called up?

Mainly because of how quickly he’s done it. At 19 years old, he’s only played in 121 minor league games since signing with the Nats in 2015, with most of his playing time happening in ’16 and this year. By comparison, Trea Turner played in over 200 and and Bryce Harper played in over 130. Normally, it takes at least 4 years for a player to make it to MLB after signing. Even superstars like Kris Bryant needed a couple full seasons before breaking in. In addition, Soto is coming to the Nats straight from AA, both a sign of his immense talent and the depth issues the team has. You don’t see teams reach for just anyone when this happens.

3. How do you know he won’t just get pinch hit duty ?

Admittedly there’s always a chance that happens and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t start Sunday, but I don’t expect them to let him sit on the bench for long. The Nats have generally made an effort to make sure the guys they see as future pieces of the team are going to be getting regular at bats, while this move is a risk it’s unlikely they would hamper Soto’s development by putting him in a situation he wasn’t getting regular work. If they just wanted another bat to take up room and play some outfield, they could easily add disposable parts like Alejandro de Aza or Ryan Rayburn.

4. Are you sure he’s ready? This seems like a desperation move by the Nats

Not sure he’s ready, but he could be. Soto could struggle as he faces a much higher caliber of pitching and defense. That said, even a desperate Nats team wouldn’t be calling him up if they didn’t think there was a decent chance he could handle it. Do I expect him to play at the crazy level he has been? Probably not. Is it possible that the can hit high .200s and show some power? Yeah. The bigger risk to me is that he has had injury issues that essentially cost him most of last year and given that the Nats appear cursed I’m afraid he’ll get hurt in some dumb way.

5. Anything Else you Want to add?

ONLY THAT I PREDICTED HE WOULD SKIP AAA BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED AND IM A DAMN SEER

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