How analytics vindicate Juan Soto’s freakishly effective swing

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Juan Soto‘s exceptional swing has long been a topic of awe and admiration in the baseball world. Even without the aid of advanced metrics, it was evident that Soto possessed a rare talent, often drawing comparisons to legends like Ted Williams. As he continues to dominate the game, his trajectory towards a Hall of Fame career seems inevitable.

Juan Soto in 2024: The key player shining for the Yankees in MLB

Juan Soto prior to play for the Yankees in an mlb game at Yankee Stadium, in 2024.
Newsweek

It’s great to note that in 2024, Juan Soto, alongside Aaron Judge, has been wonderful for the Yankees. While Judge has broken many records, establishing himself as one of the most important hitters for the club, Soto has started making Yankees fans feel like he’s a veteran. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about whether he will stay or become a free agent.

Last Friday, during the Yankees’ 8-0 win, Juan Soto responded to the fans of his former team, the San Diego Padres, by delivering a 423-foot home run. So far, Soto is batting .315 with 14 home runs this season for the Yankees. What has most impressed everyone is the way the Dominican swings, which is fully supported by the stats.

What did the stats say about Juan Soto?

Juan Soto running for the  Yankees in an MLB game in 2024.
NY POST

What Statcast recently unveiled regarding bat-tracking metrics was what we already knew: Juan Soto was exceptional, the data revealed just how extraordinary his abilities truly are.

One of the most striking revelations was Juan Soto’s elite bat speed, ranking in the 96th percentile among qualified hitters. This remarkable speed, averaging 76.2 mph, puts him in rare company, outpacing even some of the game’s brightest talents like Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners) and Gunnar Henderson (Baltimore Orioles).

Equally impressive is Juan Soto’s ability to consistently square the ball up, with a squared-up rate in the 98th percentile. This means he excels at turning his bat speed into optimal exit velocity, a skill that separates the great from the good in hitting.

What truly sets Juan Soto apart, however, is his ability to combine both exceptional bat speed and precision in squaring up the ball—a feat that seems almost impossible. While many hitters excel in one area or the other, Soto defies convention by excelling at both simultaneously.

A closer look at the data reveals just how unique Juan Soto’s skill set is. He stands alone as the only hitter in the 90th percentile or better in both bat speed and squared-up rate. This dual proficiency places him in a league of his own, far surpassing even the most talented hitters in the game.

When plotted against each other, Juan Soto’s metrics occupy a rarefied space in the top right corner of the graph—a realm reserved for hitters with both blazing bat speed and a high rate of squared-up balls. It’s a testament to his unparalleled ability to combine power and precision in his swing.

But numbers only tell part of the story. Watching Juan Soto in action, it’s clear that his swing is a thing of beauty and efficiency. While others may need to sacrifice speed for accuracy or vice versa, Soto effortlessly achieves both, making the difficult task of hitting look easy.

In a recent interview, Juan Soto shed some light on his approach, emphasizing the importance of being quick and staying on top of the ball. It’s this mindset, coupled with his natural talent, that allows him to consistently deliver impressive performances on the field.

With each game, Juan Soto continues to showcase his unparalleled skills, leaving fans and analysts alike in awe of his talent. This might explain why his autographed baseball cards have been selling on eBay for more than $500,000.

While we already knew he was destined for greatness, the insights provided by advanced metrics only serve to deepen our appreciation for the unique, almost-impossible swing of Juan Soto.

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