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Juan Soto Looks Made for Pinstripes

With another series win in the books, the New York Yankees have now won 11 of 14 series to start the season. They now hold the best record in the American League. Since the first day of spring training, this Yankees team has had a different vibe. They seem infinitely more locked in and engaged in every game than in the recent past. After last season’s disappointment of missing the playoffs, a clear message was sent to manager Aaron Boone and the players from ownership and GM Brian Cashman that they had to win this year. This message was made loud and clear by the trade for Juan Soto. Already, Soto looks made for pinstripes.

On paper, Cashman pulled off a steal to get a generational player for reliever Michael King and prospects. It’s turned out that way as Soto has electrified the Yankees fanbase and team.

Soto carried the team through April, but now his teammates are starting to take off also, particularly Aaron Judge, who looks to be on a mission over the last few weeks after a slow start. This looks like it could be a fun summer with Judge and Soto taking target practice in ballparks across North America.

Juan Soto Looks Made for Pinstripes

Soto is the perfect offensive weapon. He doesn’t have a weakness. He’s a generational player, and overall, possibly the most complete player in the game.

The 25-year-old outfielder resides in the top five in the majors in OBP, RBI, and walks. He is also in the top 10-15 players in every available metric including OPS, slugging, batting average, home runs, runs, and hits to start the year. He already has an established rapport with the Bleacher Creatures in right field, who’ve fallen in love with him and vice versa.

Soto brings a swagger and an event to each of his at-bats. It’s unmissable. He will smile and nod his head at a good pitch, as if to say “Good one, but watch this…” before dispatching the next pitch 440 feet in the upper decks.

Other times, he coaches the umpire as to what the strike zone is, because he has the best eye in the majors. Incidentally breaking the record previously held by Mickey Mantle, for most walks by a player by the age of 26. As Aaron Boone described it, “The plate is Soto’s office, he’s in charge.”

The Yankees have to do whatever it takes to make sure he makes a permanent home in the Bronx in the offseason. It’s already reaching blank-check territory with unlimited years in contract negotiations. In the meantime, the Yankees have to have a big season to entice Soto to stay long-term, they’re off to a great start of doing so.

Soto’s Electric Start

There have already been several headline performances from Soto, one of the early contenders for AL MVP.

Start with the Opening Day game against the Astros. He drove in a run then threw out the runner from third in the bottom of the ninth to save the game. It took off from there, as the Yankees swept the Astros in Houston, with Soto already registering his first home run to go with nine hits in the series.

He now has 14 multi-hit games and five games with at least three RBI. As of Thursday, he has an average of .302 and a .920 OPS.

Soto’s electric start includes a few signature home runs. One of these was a three-run homer deep into right field against the Miami Marlins which sent the Bronx crowd into a frenzy, his first homer at the Stadium.

Following that was another three-run shot, this time in Cleveland to deep center. Not content with that, he launched another three-run no-doubter way into the upper decks against the Tampa Bay Rays that sent the Yankee Stadium crowd into October-like celebrations. After that one, announcer Michael Kay proclaimed him “…the amazing Soto!”

Not content with only putting on a show in the Bronx, he also had an electric moment in Baltimore. When challenged on a pitch, Soto nodded, then took the next pitch out of Camden Yards, hitting the warehouse beyond the right field stands.

Earth to Cashman

Juan Soto looks made for pinstripes, and the Yankees brass should take note. He has the swagger for the Bronx and he’s a leader. Most importantly, he’s a winner, proving that by winning a championship in Washington. He brings a winning presence to a franchise with 27 titles. If he continues like this, 28 might not be far away for the Yankees.


Photo Credit: © Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports


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