Juan Soto rises above by Astros’ pitiful attempt at Locker Room mind games

New Yankees star Juan Soto

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Juan Soto is definitely one of the standout players during the first week of MLB, but it seems like he took the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” quite seriously. It was reported that the Astros teased Juan Soto, who now plays for the New York Yankees, by giving him a broken locker, but he took it in stride. More importantly, he shined for the Yankees and was the main star in the 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros.

What happened

The debut of New York Yankees’ star outfielder Juan Soto went smoothly, despite the teasing from the Houston Astros who gave him a broken locker.

Juan Soto made his mark on the game with a beautiful throw to home plate with one out in the ninth inning, catching what would have been the tying run. He also sparked a rally with a run-scoring single in the fifth inning, marking his first hit for the Yankees.

Before the game, the locker given to Juan Soto by the Astros came with a broken drawer, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post. The 25-year-old star took it in stride with a smile. When it was pointed out that the locker given to him – a $30M player – contained a broken drawer, he just smiled. “It’s good luck,” he said.

Juan Soto went 1-for-3 with a run-scoring single and two walks during his debut for the Yankees. In typical Soto fashion, he saw 25 pitches over his five plate appearances, which was matched with Anthony Volpe as the most pitches seen by the team during the game.

That game was so significant for Juan Soto that he made history for the New York Yankees. According to OptaSTATS on X, Soto became the first outfielder to drive in a run, draw multiple walks, and throw out the tying run at home plate in the ninth inning in the same game since the RBI statistic became official in 1920. A quite impressive way to start a season with a new team.

The Yankees secured Soto earlier this offseason when they parted ways with right-handed pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez, along with top pitching prospect Drew Thorpe and catcher Kyle Higashioka. In return, the Yankees received Soto and outfielder Trent Grisham from the San Diego Padres.

Potentially, Juan Soto and Yankees star Aaron Judge are already being touted as one of the most formidable duos in MLB history, despite the fact that they’ve only just begun the season. On Thursday, they didn’t disappoint. Soto, batting in the second spot, went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run-scoring single. Judge, batting in the third spot right behind Soto, went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The Yankees came back from a 4-0 deficit, scoring five runs in a row to enter the ninth inning with a 5-4 lead. Then, when the Astros put runners on first and second base with one out, it was Soto who came to the rescue again.

Juan Soto’s strategic plan led to his historic moment

Juan Soto’s scorching start with the New York Yankees isn’t entirely surprising. His actions during the offseason hinted at a player laser-focused on not just personal success, but leaving a positive impact.

His first official move as a Yankee bypassed the typical spring training routine. Instead, in February, Soto made a passionate pilgrimage an hour east of Santo Domingo to the Yankees’ Dominican Academy. This wasn’t a mandated visit, but a testament to Soto’s dedication to inspiring the next generation of baseball stars. He vividly remembers the potential influence a Dominican star’s visit would have had on him as a young player.

True to his word, on February 7th, Soto spent hours at the academy, connecting with every player, coach, teacher, and staff member. He even interacted with members of the U.S. Embassy who happened to be visiting that day.

This heartfelt gesture sparked intrigue. Perhaps, amidst the playful banter with the Astros (who famously teased him with a “broken locker”), Soto already possessed a quiet confidence, a premonition of the historic season brewing.

Dominating stats fuel the narrative

Looking back, the signs were there. Last season, Soto’s dominance spoke volumes: a stellar batting average of [.313], a league-leading on-base percentage of [.462], and a jaw-dropping slugging percentage of [.578]. He even added a National League Gold Glove Award to his growing trophy case.

This offseason, Soto continued to refine his skills during spring training, putting up impressive numbers that hinted at his readiness to rewrite the record books.

Juan Soto’s actions paint a picture of a player exceeding expectations – a leader dedicated to not just his own performance, but to the future of the game. With his blazing start and undeniable passion, it appears Soto’s premonition of a historic season might just become reality.

The Yankees got a glimpse of the kind of impact Soto brings to the roster, and it proved to have a seismic shift in the rivalry with the Astros. Especially when the broken locker perhaps was the factor that propelled the Dominican star even further.

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