How Soto time traveled in first MLB homer

January 22nd, 2021

For all the head-turning moments has produced in his first three seasons, it’s no surprise his first Major League home run was worth a double take, too.

The story of Soto’s time travel began on May 15, 2018. That day, he was playing in a Double-A game for the Harrisburg Senators while the Nationals were hosting the Yankees. The game at Nats Park got suspended because of weather and was then scheduled to resume on June 18. A lot would change before then.

Soto made his big league debut five days later on May 20 against the Dodgers. He homered the following game against the Padres, but in a twist, the 422-foot, three-run shot off left-hander Robbie Erlin would eventually count as his second home run.

Here’s why.

When Washington resumed its matchup against New York, Soto was eligible to play even though he was in the Minors at the time of the original game. In the sixth inning, he sent a 96.8 mph fastball from righty Chad Green into the right-field concourse at 111.8 mph to drive in Anthony Rendon and break a 3-3 tie. The home run was attributed to the May 15 game, which Soto helped the Nats win, 5-3.

Soto went on to hit 22 home runs in his rookie season. The following year, he belted 34 in the regular season and five during the Nationals’ 2019 World Series run. This past season, Soto became the youngest player to win the National League batting title, which included 13 homers.