Juan Soto eyes standout year, aiming for historic home run feat

Juan Soto threw a ball during his Yankees' debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on February 25, 2024.

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The spotlight shone on Juan Soto as he made his debut with the Yankees, creating a palpable buzz about whether he would see some action before the game. Fortunately, everything unfolded smoothly, allowing him to step onto the field and launch his first home run adorned in the iconic Yankees jersey.

Juan Soto’s highest aspirations

Juan Soto hit a home run during his Yankees' debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on February 25, 2024.

Reflecting on his future with the Yankees, Juan Soto shared his aspirations for the 2024 season. Speaking from his new position in the American League, he expressed a desire to accomplish a unique feat: hitting a home run in all 30 ballparks. With a spirited tone, he noted that he had already conquered 24 stadiums but aimed to check off the remaining six or seven on his list by the end of the year.

“I say before as I’m in American League now I want to I wanted to finish all 30 ballparks to hit a homer in all 30 ballparks and I’m missing like six and seven so that’s my goal for this year. “ Speaking with Meredith on Yes Network, Juan Soto shared his excitement about making his debut with the Yankees.

Following the game, Juan Soto conveyed his anticipation for the experience, emphasizing the eagerness to connect with the passionate Yankee fans. He acknowledged the widespread acclaim that surrounds the Yankee faithful and expressed his curiosity about their support. Juan Soto articulated his desire to feel the energy of the fans cheering for him, contrasting it with the prospect of being booed. Reflecting on the initial encounter, he remarked positively, noting that the experience had been gratifying and lived up to the expectations he held about the famed Yankee fanbase.

“You want to get that feeling of the Yankee fans. You always hear about them. You get to a point where you’ll be like, ‘OK, I want to feel about them. I want to see how it’s going to feel to have them on my back cheering for me instead of booing me.’ So I think it’s been pretty good.”

Juan Soto shines in his Yankees debut

Juan Soto hit a home run during his Yankees' debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on February 25, 2024.

Juan Soto marked his inaugural appearance at New York Yankees spring training on Sunday, playing against the Toronto Blue Jays in a home game. The talented outfielder aimed to leave a lasting impression, and that’s precisely what he achieved.

In his first two plate appearances, Juan Soto secured a walk and grounded out. However, it was in his third appearance, during the fourth inning against Toronto’s Trevor Richards, that he truly shone. With two runners on base and two outs, Juan Soto, after working a 1-0 count, delivered a powerful hit on an elevated fastball. The result was a remarkable home run that soared over the large scoreboard in left-center field, leaving fans in awe.

Statcast reported that Juan Soto’s impressive home run had an exit velocity of 110.1 mph and traveled an estimated 428 feet, making it a potential home run in any of the 30 MLB ballparks.

Entering his walk year, Juan Soto joined the Yankees in a significant trade with the San Diego Padres in December, which also brought veteran outfielder Trent Grisham to the team. The trade involved the Yankees parting ways with pitchers Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Michael King, and Randy Vásquez, as well as catcher Kyle Higashioka.

At 25 years old, Juan Soto has already carved a Hall of Fame-worthy path in his first six MLB seasons. His career statistics boast a .284/.421/.524 (157 OPS+) slash line, 160 home runs, and a 28.6 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s estimates, setting high expectations for the upcoming regular season.

While Juan Soto made his highly anticipated Major League Baseball debut in 2018 at the young age of 19, some players like Jeremy Peña, Adley Rutchman, Luis Robert Jr., and George Kirby, who debuted after 2020, are actually older than him.

The board displays Juan Soto's age in comparison to that of other MLB players.
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On March 28, Juan Soto and the Yankees are set to kick off the regular season away in Houston, facing off against the Astros.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Juan Soto eyes standout year, aiming for historic home run feat

  1. Very nice article, Amanda.

    One thing, though, a close examination of Soto’s home-run swing revealed something EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT, even quasi-Superhuman about the HR:

    The pitch was almost NY-Letter High when he connected! Tons of Lefty power hitters can crush LOW pitches (Nettles, for example, thrived on them), but VERY FEW can ABSOLUTELY DESTROY a high pitch. That takes Otherworldly Bat Speed & Athleticism that even many HOF power hitters couldn’t equal!

    Yes, the distance was impressive, as was the fact it was an opposite-field HR, which is also somewhat rare for Lefty power hitters, but for a Lefty to get to a pitch near the letters is mind blowing! And he looked effortless doing it, like most of Judge’s blasts.

    I knew Soto was a Great Hitter, but hitting a High Pitch to the Opposite Field for an HR is something Only the Most Elite Hitters of All-Time can do.

    If Soto & Judge stay healthy & play 150+ games & hit back-to-back, they could become a modern-day version of “THE M&M BOYS” of Mantle & Maris, and become known in baseball lore as “THE J&J BOYS” (Judge & Juan), with Yankee fans yearning for “Juan more Judgement” after another. (Top those two, Michael Kay! 😉

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