Juan Soto bringing hot bat, 'pure joy' to playoff-hungry Nats

Josh Luckenbaugh
July 15, 2019 - 12:34 pm

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and remind yourself: Juan Soto is only 20 years old. 

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The Nationals left fielder is following up his incredible rookie season with a spectacular sophomore campaign. Entering Monday, Soto ranked 10th in the National League in OPS (.943) and trailed only Anthony Rendon on the Nationals in home runs (16) and RBIs (59), which included his clutch two-run blast Saturday night to give Washington a huge win over the Phillies

"He's doing things Bryce (Harper) wasn't doing when he was 20," F.P. Santangelo told The Sports Junkies Monday. "Just little things, he's progressed so much defensively."

"Offensively, (if) you can hit, you can hit. This guy's got one of the most beautiful swings I think in baseball, and a batting title's in his future. The sky's the limit."

Soto's stellar play is one of many reasons for the Nats' incredible mid-season turnaround, Washington currently holding one of the NL's two wild card spots. 

And off the field and well as on it, Soto acts like someone wise beyond his years. 

"Nobody talks about that he speaks English so well," said Santangelo. "They tell me he was the fastest minor leaguer ever to learn English ... He's just so polished and mature for his age." 

"This guy just has a pure joy for the game of baseball, and he's a pleasure to watch. Whether he's 20, whether he's 40, he's gonna have hopefully a career we all look back on and say, 'Wow, he was one of the best that ever was.'"

If these first two seasons are any indication, Soto's well on his way to having a great MLB career. 

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