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Nationals’ Top Prospect Juan Soto to Make First MLB Start

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Washington Nationals’ 19-year old phenom, Juan Soto, will get his first Major League start on Monday against the San Diego Padres.

Soto will bat sixth in the order and play left field. He was called up from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday after Howie Kendrick suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon on Saturday during a game.

Soto hit .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs in 152 at-bats in the minors. He also drew 30 walks while hitting 10 doubles and four triples. His time was split between three levels. He tore through Single-A Hagerstown before being called up after 16 games to High-A Potomac. His stint with the Nationals mimicked his time with the Suns and he was promoted to Harrisburg in earlier this month.

Soto is ranked as the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect and sixth among outfield prospects by MLB Pipeline. His addition to the Nats makes him the youngest player on a roster in MLB. He becomes the second teenager to make his debut with the Nationals, joining Bryce Harper (2012).

The Nationals have been decimated with injuries at just about every position, highlighted by a depleted outfield. The club is without Adam Eaton (ankle), Brian Goodwin (wrist), Rafael Bautista (season-ending knee) in addition to Kendrick. As a result, Soto has been pushed to the majors ahead of schedule, but there is certainly no thought of him being undeserving.

The Nationals enter Monday’s slate four games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East. Soto will get his opportunity to prove he belongs on the top level of baseball. Good or bad, he will get some welcomed at-bats and experience that will benefit him long-term for his future.

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