4/19/2018, From the management: We have moved the Bullpen over to its new permanent server setup. It's a bit much to explain here, but I think it's working mostly. We have an issue where some requests are blocked due to too many images on a page. I'm working on fixing that issue today. Please let me know on User_talk:Admin if you see any issues. Thank you as always for your support.
Juan Jose Soto Pacheco
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.
Outfielder Juan Soto signed with the Washington Nationals as a 17-year-old before the 2016 season. He had a meteoric rise through the minor league ranks, getting off to a booming start by hitting .361 in 45 games for the GCL Nationals his first year. He was then promoted to the Auburn Doubledays where he hit .429 in 6 games. An injury then limited him to 32 games in 2017, but he made the most of these, as he hit .351/.415/.505 between the Gulf Coast League and the Class A Hagerstown Suns.
In 2018, he started the year back at Hagerstown, but he was clearly too strong for the South Atlantic League, hitting .373 in 16 games. On April 24th, he was promoted to the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League, but that was also too easy for the young phenom, as he hit .371 in 15 games. So up he went to the AA Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League. There he hit .323 with 2 doubles and 2 homers in 8 games, and when Howie Kendrick fell victim to a season-ending Achilles' tendon injury on May 19th, the Nats decided that there was no point in letting him terrorize that league's pitchers as well, and they called him up to the nation's capital, where he was set to become the youngest player in the majors and the first teenager to play for the team since Bryce Harper had made his debut before his 20th birthday in 2012.
While his call-up was the result of his performance, the Nats were also desperate for healthy bodies, given that in addition to Kendrick, OFs Adam Eaton, Brian Goodwin, Victor Robles and Rafael Bautista were all on the disabled list, in addition to sundry others. He made his debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 20th, striking out as a pinch-hitter against Erik Goeddel. A day later, he hit a three-run dinger off Robbie Erlin of the San Diego Padres. The last teenager to homer in the big leagues had been Harper. On June 13th, he had a two-homer game at New Yankee Stadium, becoming only the third teenager to homer twice in a road game, after Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Ken Griffey, Jr. He was playing so well that the Nats were keeping him around and playing regularly even after Eaton and Goodwin returned from their injuries.
- Gabe Lacques: "Why Nationals teen phenom Juan Soto may be here to stay", USA Today Sports, June 14, 2018.