Nationals' Juan Soto in midst of historic MLB season for a teenager
Few 19-year-old players have ever done what Soto is doing
... and that was his 14th of the season. That generally wouldn't be a milestone, but Soto is only 19 years old. Here's the leaderboard for home runs in a season, age-19 or younger:
- Tony Conigliaro, 24, 1964
- Bryce Harper, 22, 2012
- Mel Ott, 18, 1928
- Ken Griffey Jr., 16, 1989
- Juan Soto, 14, 2018
- Mickey Mantle, 13, 1951
Those are some names, eh?
Soto is in the midst of putting together a historic season as far as teenagers in MLB history goes.
It's remarkable under the circumstances. Soto wasn't even supposed to be here yet. He started the season in Class A Hagerstown. After 16 games there, it was on to Class A-Advanced Potomac for 15 games. After just eight games in Double-A, the Nationals -- due to myriad injuries -- needed to summon Soto.
Think about this again. Soto was sent to the majors with only eight games above High-A and he never even saw Triple-A. He was in rookie ball in 2017! The odds of him sticking in the majors as more than temporary help were not good, and yet, he's likely to win the NL Rookie of the Year.
Let's run through a few more areas of where this is a historic run. All of this is sorted for the best season a player has ever had at age 19 or younger -- and keep in mind, Soto still has 5 1/2 weeks left.
Batting average over .300 (with at least 250 plate appearances)
- Ott, .322
- Ty Cobb, 1906, .316
- Soto, .315
- Cesar Cedeno, 1970, .310
- Edgar Renteria, 1996, .309
On-base percentage over .400 (with at least 250 PA)
- Soto, .432
Yes, that's it.
Slugging percentage over .500 (with at least 250 PA)
- Soto, .567
- Conigliaro, .530
- Ott, .524
OPS+ over 125
- Soto, 161
- Fred Carroll, 1884, 156
- Ott, 139
- Conigliaro, 137
- Cobb, 132
WAR, position players, over 2.0
- Harper, 5.2
- Ott, 3.9
- Griffey, 3.3
- Renteria, 3.2
- Carroll, 2.9
- Cobb, 2.5
- Soto, 2.3
- Buddy Lewis, 1936, 2.1
- Travis Jackson, 1923, 2.1
Soto is a bit behind some of the traditional counting stats (runs, RBI, hits, doubles) due to missing almost two months of the season to start, but still, this is incredibly impressive work.
It's not just the historic company he's keeping, either. It's that he was in rookie ball last season and started this season three full levels of minor leagues from The Show. Amazing stuff, Mr. Soto.
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