Juan Soto is one of the best teenage players MLB has seen in many years. Indeed, by the time the season is up, he may well be one of the most successful 19-year-old players in the history of the game. Maybe *the* most.
Today, he absolutely looked the part, not only in the results of his plate appearances, but also in his confidence at the plate. This is a kid who can crush the ball, but who also really can see the ball well coming out of the pitcher’s hand – hence why he’s hitting .309/.428/.553 with nearly matching 17.2% and 18.2% BB and K rates. Dang, man. He’s NINETEEN!
But, that said, the Cubs pwned him on the bases today. Soto’s age was showing, because he got picked off at first base by two of the best in the game – guys whom you should always be paying extra close attention to.
First, Soto got picked off by Kyle Hendricks, who has one of the best moves in the game and one of the most accurate throws to first. So, busted:
The head-hang of shame says it all. Soto knew he shouldn’t have strayed that far, and he got abused by a relative veteran pitcher.
Second, Soto got picked off by Willson Contreras, who is THE most active-throwing catcher in the game and has one of the best arms in the game. So, busted:
That particular pickoff was especially satisfying because (1) Soto represented the lead run at first base, and (2) Soto had been GLARING HARD at Brandon Kintzler throughout his entire plate appearance, and then even more after he took a walk:
“How dare you walk me.” pic.twitter.com/T3t6w1DOnl
— FuzzBeed Eli (@FuzzBeedEli) August 10, 2018
I don’t know if it was just part of his style out there, or if it was particular to Kintzler’s departure from the Nationals. But it was odd. And then he got extremely picked off.
Better days ahead for Soto, I’m sure. Hopefully not against the Cubs.