Nats hitting coach guaranteed Juan Soto’s home run

Brian Tinsman
October 22, 2019 - 10:33 pm

Juan Soto is the youngest player on the Washington Nationals. Gerrit Cole was one of the best pitchers in baseball this year. Who should reasonably win this matchup?

If you’re Nats hitting coach Kevin Long, it’s Soto. So much so, that he guaranteed a home run for Soto off of Cole, and even accurately predicted the pitch--Cole’s best.

Tom Verducci shared this story in the aftermath of Soto’s towering shot:

“This falls under the category of ‘now it can be told,’” Verducci said on the FOX broadcast, “Yesterday, Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long told me that Soto was going to hit a home run off a high fastball from Gerrit Cole. 

“I said, ‘That’s Gerrit Cole. That’s the best four-seam elevated fastball in baseball.’

“He said, ‘I don’t care. I guarantee you,’ and he used that word, ‘I guarantee you Juan Soto will hit a home run off a high fastball from Gerrit Cole.’”

Long should leave the ballpark tonight and immediately go play the lottery.

Even though it may have only counted for one run, Soto’s blast was one of the most dramatic you’ll ever see. Going with the pitch, he launched the pitch onto the train tracks that go around the Astros’ stadium:

This is where the ball finally came to rest:

Instant Update: Soto got his third World Series at-bat in the fifth inning, immediately after Adam Eaton helped the Nats take the lead.

Soto, again, came through in the clutch, this time ripping a 90-mph slider into the gap for a two-RBI double:

For those of you tracking at home, Soto has three RBIs off of a Cy Young candidate, who had yielded just one run through the entire postseason, before meeting the Nats in Game 1.

Brian Tinsman has covered D.C. sports since 2011, both from the team marketing and skeptical fan perspectives. Tweet your criticisms @Brian_Tinsman.