The Nationals faced the Braves on Tuesday night in Atlanta (WAS-ATL GameTracker), and Washington's slugging outfielder Juan Soto in the sixth inning got every bit of this Bryce Elder cutter:

That's a 451-foot whopper that left the bat at 112.5 mph. That was Soto's second homer of the season, and it was the 100th home run of his young career. Soto is just 23 years old and as you might imagine, not many hitters have reached 100 career round-trippers at such a young age. Consider: 

  • Soto becomes just the 27th player in MLB history to reach 100 home runs before age 24. The last to join the club was Cody Bellinger in 2019. 
  • You'll recall that the 2020 season, Soto's age-21 campaign, was heavily abbreviated to just 60 games during the regular season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Had it been a normal season, then Soto would almost certainly have reached 100 career home runs in 2021 as a 22 year old. Just four players have achieved that -- Alex Rodriguez, Mel Ott, Eddie Mathews, and Tony Conigliaro. By all rights, Soto should've been the fifth. 
  • Rare is the power hitter, especially these days, who's able to hit balls out of the park on a regular basis while also tallying more walks than strikeouts. Soto, however, is an impressive exception. At this writing, he has to his credit 377 walks against 354 strikeouts. Speaking of which, Soto becomes just the sixth hitter in MLB history to reach 100 home runs by age 23 while having more walks than strikeouts. The other five were Eddie Mathews, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, and Joe DiMaggio -- an inner-circle Hall of Famers, one and all. Those five legends also played when strikeouts were much less abundant than during Soto's career. 

Soto is perhaps the best hitter in the game today, and he's one of the best young hitters in the annals of the game. Given his youth and the historically rare start to his career, Soto will very likely be reaching many more milestones in the years to come.