2 days later, Soto resets best with 466-ft HR

August 13th, 2020

What’s more jaw dropping than a career-best 463-foot home run? A 466-foot drive two days later.

surpassed his personal mark when he crushed an 89.7 mph slider off Mets starting right-hander Robert Gsellman to the Coca-Cola Corner of Citi Field in the first inning on Wednesday in the Nationals' 11-6 loss.

“Again, I just want to see how far it lands,” Soto said. “It feels good.”

The monster homer was the fifth-longest tracked by Statcast from a Nationals player since 2015, and its 112.9 mph exit velocity is the fourth-hardest hit by a player for the club.

"A home run's a home run,” Gsellman said. “It doesn't matter if it barely goes over the fence or goes 500 feet over the fence. It's still going to be three runs.”

Soto wasn’t done there. Not even close.

In the sixth inning, Soto sent lefty Justin Wilson’s 91.4 mph cutter a Statcast-estimated 403 feet into left-center field. His fourth home run of the season -- and 60th of his career -- exited the park at 102.6 mph.

“When he’s swinging the bat like he is now, you very rarely see him swinging at balls outside the strike zone,” manager Dave Martinez said.

Pummeling home runs has become second nature in just his third season. Wednesday marked his sixth multi-home run game, tied with Andruw Jones and Cody Bellinger for the third most in the category by a player 21 years old or younger. He trails only Mel Ott (8) and Eddie Mathews (7).

Soto also is tied in fifth place with Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson for homers before age 22 (60).

Sandwiched between the two home runs was an important moment, even if it resulted in an out. In his second at-bat of the game in the third inning, Soto grounded to shortstop and into a double play. The result was not satisfactory to him, and he tapped into his diligent preparation to resolve it his next time at the plate.

“He makes in-game adjustments better than any young hitter I’ve ever seen,” Martinez said. “And he did. He said, ‘Hey I’m going to stay in the middle of the field next time and really try to stay up and stay over the baseball.’ As you can see, when he does that, he hit the ball a long way.”

While Soto’s stats quickly pile up, he is taking his success one step at a time. He didn’t view Wednesday’s performance as a multi-homer game, but rather as four separate opportunities at the plate.

“I just take one at-bat at a time,” Soto said. “Every time I’m going to hit, I’m going to swing, it doesn’t matter if I hit a home run in the first at-bat -- I’m going to fight my second at-bat, my third and my fourth. I just forget about what I did and just try to concentrate on the next at-bat.”

He added a line-drive single in the eighth, bringing his night to 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs. Soto, who made his season debut on Aug. 5 after being reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list, is hitting .423 with nine runs batted in over his first seven games.