Sal questions Juan Soto opting for walk against hit in Yankees’ loss to Marlins

Yankees' Juan Soto celebrates following a hit against the Astros in Houston on March 31, 2024.

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WFAN radio host Sal Licata is not happy with Juan Soto‘s decision to walk against the Marlins on April 10. The slugger chose to walk over a hit and pass it on Aaron Judge to carry the Yankees forward. The game ended with a loss for the Yankees as the captain failed to hit with bases loaded.

Licata openly expressed his frustration with Juan Soto’s strategy at the plate, advocating for a more assertive approach. From his perspective, simply “passing the baton” isn’t enough; he expects the slugger to take control and actively create scoring opportunities. He believes that Juan Soto should prioritize driving in runs himself instead of relying solely on walks to advance runners.

Radio host questions Juan Soto’s strategic choice

Juan Soto celebrates Anthony after hitting a home run in the Yankees' 7-0 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 8, 2024.

Juan Soto, the New York Yankees’ newest star recruitment, is widely acclaimed for his elite strike-zone judgment, a skill that has cemented his status as a premier hitter in Major League Baseball. His innate ability to discern between balls and strikes, coupled with his talent for identifying pitches he can dominate, forms the bedrock of his offensive prowess.

However, there are instances when Juan Soto’s patience at the plate raises eyebrows, particularly for WFAN radio host Sal Licata. A recent example unfolded in the bottom of the ninth inning during the Yankees’ 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Miami Marlins. Trailing by three runs with two runners on base, Soto drew a six-pitch walk, putting Aaron Judge at-bat with the bases loaded.

Licata, while acknowledging his admiration for Juan Soto’s talent, champions a more aggressive approach, especially in clutch situations where a timely hit could significantly sway the game’s outcome. He pointed to Judge’s recent struggles and the pitcher’s apparent vulnerability with runners on first and second, implying that Soto’s passivity may have cost the Yankees an opportunity. While Judge ultimately flew out to center field, Licata pinned the loss on Juan Soto’s decision to walk, despite Soto not making the final out.

Juan Soto and Aaron Judge are together during the Yankees home opener against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 5, 2024.

Despite the debate surrounding his selectivity, Juan Soto boasts impressive statistics for the season so far. He maintains a stellar .360 batting average with two home runs and 12 RBIs, coupled with a league-leading .468 on-base percentage (including 11 walks) and a .540 slugging percentage. Regardless of any criticism regarding his plate discipline, there’s no denying that Juan Soto’s unique combination of skills will likely translate into a substantial contract extension this offseason.

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