Juan Soto introduced himself to the baseball world Wednesday night when he hit a pair of home runs for the Nationals against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in a nationally televised game.
Making the introduction even more memorable is the fact that Soto is a 19-year-old rookie.
FLASHBACK: Soto homers in second career at-bat
So, just who is Juan Soto? Here are five fast facts about the teenager who’s crushing big-league pitching.
1. He’s a 6-1, 185-pound outfielder from the Dominican Republic. He was called up to the majors from Double-A Harrisburg in mid-May after Howie Kendrick suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury.
2. Soto signed with the Nats as a 16-year-old in 2015 as a member of Washington’s July 2 international class that year. He didn’t make his professional debut until June 2016 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, however. That means Soto played his way through all the levels of Washington’s minor league system (and skipped Triple-A, to boot) in less than two years.
3. Counting the two homers he hit Wednesday, Soto now has 19 dingers in 2018 (five in the bigs, 14 in the minors). He hit eight in his first two minor-league seasons, covering 83 games (injuries limited him to 32 games last season).
4. Soto entered the season as the No. 2-ranked prospect in the Nationals’ system. He has zoomed past No. 1 prospect Victor Robles, a 21-year-old outfielder who is injured at Triple-A Syracuse. Once Robles is ready to return to the majors (he made his debut last season), Washington’s outfield future will be extremely bright.
5. Soto joined some select company with his two-homer performance. At 19 years, 231 days, he became the third-youngest player all time to hit two in a game on the road, according to STATS, Inc. research. The others? Mel Ott, who did it twice, and Ken Griffey Jr., who did it at . . . the old Yankee Stadium in 1989. Just a couple of Hall of Famers.