Six weeks ago, Washington Nationals prospect Juan Soto opened the minor league season at Low-A Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League. The 19-year-old outfielder soon earned a promotion to High-A Potomac, then to Double-A Harrisburg. He’s tortured pitchers at every stop, slashing .362/462/.757 with 28 extra-base hits and 14 home runs. Soto doubled in his first at-bat for Harrisburg and homered in his second. He’s a machine, basically.
Today, Soto is in Washington to make his major league debut. He’ll be the first teenager to make an appearance for the Nats since Bryce Harper in 2012.
We should mention, of course, that the primary reason Soto is getting this shot is that a staggering number of Washington regulars are on the DL. Howie Kendrick suffered a ruptured right Achilles on Saturday, prompting the Soto promotion. It should also go without saying that any 19-year-old hitter can (and likely will) struggle against major league pitching. If Soto simply treads water in the big leagues, it would be a ridiculously impressive achievement.
For those who haven’t seen Soto’s work in the minors, here’s a collection of clips. The kid has a quick bat and a simple, powerful left-handed swing. Soto hasn’t yet struggled at any professional stop, beginning with an MVP season in the Gulf Coast League at age-17 and continuing through his short visit to the Eastern League. He’s walked more often than he’s struck out so far this year.
We’ll make no fantasy promises regarding Soto’s MLB debut, because, again, he’s a teenager. He’s worth an add in nearly all fantasy formats, however, because he’s a monstrous talent. He remains unattached in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues at the moment, so most of you can grab a share.