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Yankees Player Makes MLB History With This Milestone

On Tuesday night, a New York Yankees player made MLB history by surpassing another former Yankee. Right fielder Juan Soto surpassed Hall-Of-Famer Mickey Mantle for most walks before the age of 26. Soto, 25, drew his 669th career walk in the top of the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins to accomplish the feat. He had entered the game tied with Mantle at 668 career walks. Since Soto won’t turn 26 until October, it was a matter of when, not if, he would surpass Mantle.

Soto Mature Beyond His Years

Soto is in his first year with the Yankees after being traded by the San Diego Padres in December 2023. He was originally signed by the Washington Nationals as an international free agent in 2015. He made his major league debut for the Nationals in 2018 as a 19-year-old. Even at such a young age, Soto showed stellar plate discipline. He walked 79 times in 116 games as a rookie and posted a .406 OBP. Soto played four and a half years with the Nationals before being dealt to the Padres in August of 2022. He remained with the Padres in 2023, playing in all 162 games. Soto made his third All-Star game, hitting 35 home runs with 109 RBI. He also walked 132 times and had a .410 OBP. These are the numbers that are the most impressive in today’s game, but often get overlooked.

Two Yankees Players With More In Common Than Just Pinstripes

Many people think of Mickey Mantle as a Yankees player who was a great hitter. He had over 2,400 career hits and over 500 home runs. But over the span of an 18-year career, Mantle compiled 1,733 walks, which is 8th all-time in MLB history. Mantle had 10 seasons in which he walked at least 100 times. Mantle also ranks 20th all-time in on-base percentage. But do you know who ranks 19th? Juan Soto. Actually, many sites will round both of their OBP to .421, but Soto narrowly edges Mantle .4207 to .4205. Obviously, Mantle did this over an 18-year career. Soto is only in his seventh season, but his pace is remarkably similar to that of Mantle. One reason to believe that Soto will continue his torrid pace is the fact that he has not finished a season with an OBP below .400. That stat is mind blowing.

With the pace Soto is on, there is plenty of reason to believe he could continue to draw walks and get on base at a record pace. At only 25 years old, he shows a unique blend of discipline, contact, and power you don’t see in baseball today. In an era where plate discipline has taken a back seat to the all-or-nothing approach, Soto is truly a rarity.


Main Photo Credits: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports



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