Soto moves up to All-MLB First Team

December 10th, 2020

’s standout 2020 season continued when the 22-year-old was named to the 2020 All-MLB First Team on Wednesday night on MLB Network. Soto joined Mookie Betts of the Dodgers and Mike Trout of the Angels in the outfield.

The Nationals’ also was a finalist at the shortstop position. He was edged out by Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres (First Team) and Corey Seager of the Dodgers (Second Team).

The second annual All-MLB Team selections honor the top performances at each position in the regular season. Soto was a Second Team selection in 2019.

Each team includes a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop and designated hitter, along with three outfielders, five starting pitchers and two relievers. Voting for this year’s recognition was held in November, and results were split 50-50 between fans and a panel of experts.

Soto: All-MLB First Team (OF)
In only his third Major League season, Soto became the youngest player to win the National League batting title when he tallied a .351 average at the age of 21. His .490 on-base percentage, .695 slugging percentage, 1.185 OPS and 201 wRC+ were the highest rates by a qualified hitter since Barry Bonds in 2004.

“I really focus more to hit for average, just try to put the ball in play as much as I can,” Soto said on MLB Network following the announcement. “I’ve worked really hard in the offseason for my power, so I know the power’s going to be there. I just try to put the ball in play and try to help my team.”

Among NL players, Soto finished first in intentional walks (12), fourth in walks (41) and ninth in fWAR (2.4). He also recorded 54 hits, 13 homers, 37 RBIs, 39 runs and 14 doubles in 47 games. Soto finished fifth in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting.

With all the accolades Soto has garnered, it’s easy to imagine more in his future. Asked by MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds if he could win a Triple Crown, Soto smiled and said, “You never know. Maybe. I hope so. I’m going to keep grinding, man. You never know.”

Turner: All-MLB Team finalist (SS)
Turner led all of baseball with 78 hits, thanks in part to a career-long 16-game hitting streak from Aug. 14-31. He also paced all shortstops in batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.394), slugging percentage (.588), OPS (.982), extra-base hits (31) and triples (four, tied for first) in his sixth Major League season. 

Among NL shortstops, Turner tied for first in doubles (15), ranked second in stolen bases (12) and finished third in home runs (12) and runs scored (46). He started in all but one game in 2020. He also was seventh in NL MVP voting.