SEATTLE — A year ago, Juan Soto, accompanied by his manager, Scott Porras, sat for more than 40 minutes amid All-Star Game activity in Los Angeles and answered questions about what looked like an imminent trade to the Nationals. Sure enough, the Dominican Bazaars were traded from Washington to San Diego on August 2 and helped the Padres reach the NLCS.
Now still wearing a Frailes uniform, Soto has individually righted the ship, hitting .285/.442/.486 (.928 OPS) since May 23 after a slow start to the season. But with the Padres 6.0 games from their last NL Wild Card and Soto a year and a half away from free agency, the trade rumors are back.
But for now, Soto, in his third consecutive All-Star Game, has taken some time to relax, deciding not to defend his Home Run Festival crown (which compatriot Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took on Monday) and to be more of an observer than an observer. a star.
265/.419/.479, 21 doubles, 15 home runs, and . 898 OPS traded and 153 OPS+, as well as leading the major leagues in walks with 83. “At the end of the day, it’s the work and all the dedication I put into this game and the performance I’ve had that pays off.”
I saw you with Ohtani
On July 4, Shuhei Ohtani took Angels Hill in San Diego. Before the game, Soto said that neither he nor the Padres lineup would be intimidated by the Japanese as a pitcher. Yes, the Frailes tapped into Ohtani’s finger blister to knock him out of the game in the sixth inning, but Soto went 0-for-3 against the multifaceted phenomenon, with two strikeouts.
“Ohtani is amazing. Everything he’s done, everything he’s been doing since day one of his junior year,” Soto said at T-Mobile Park. “It’s something like no other. The first time I encountered him touting. His pitches were unbelievable, nasty (poisonous, in the context of baseball), unrepeatable. You have to honor him. A tremendous baseball player, as a hitter, as a pitcher. It’s amazing what he does.”
Soto on the rise. Will you continue like this in another team?
There has been no strong indication that Padres General Manager AJ Preller plans to trade Soto before the August 1 trade deadline. However, logic says that if San Diego thinks they are not going to sign him long term and if there is no improvement from the club in the next two weeks (they are 43-47), then the maximum value for him would be right now. .
For his part, Soto adds to that value with his elite-level reach over the past month and a half.
“I’m going in the right direction,” Soto, 24, said last week. “I’ve been working, trying to find my way. There have been ups and downs and frustrations and everything. But now they see that I’ve been more consistent with my work and everything. It just feels so good.”
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