Soto to represent Nats in 2nd career All-Star Game

July 10th, 2022

ATLANTA -- The Nationals will be represented by right fielder Juan Soto at the 2022 All-Star Game.

This is Soto’s second selection as a reserve after making his All-Star debut in 2021.

“It feels great to be part of it representing the Washington Nationals,” Soto said, adding, “The first time was really fun, so I hope this one [is], too.”

Soto, 23, is slashing .243/.398/.473 with 17 home runs and an .871 OPS. He leads all of baseball with 73 walks, a category in which he paced the league last year as well. Soto entered Sunday leading all National League outfielders in on-base percentage and ranking second among them in weighted on-base average (wOBA) and weighted runs created plus (wRC+).

After working through struggles at the plate earlier in the season, Soto has hit a stride leading up to the All-Star break. He is batting .458 in the month of July, including home runs on back-to-back days this weekend in Atlanta. On Sunday, Soto extended his on-base streak to 20 games, one shy of tying his career-best.

“All the work I put in, these are things I dreamed of since I was a little kid,” Soto said. “It makes me really proud about myself and what I have done. I’m really thankful for the fans because without them, I wouldn’t be up here.”

A student of the game, Soto looks forward to learning from other All-Stars. He also joked he would like to get the pitchers on his side, too. Soto will also be reunited with former Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, who is representing the host team Dodgers.

“We’re going to have fun,” Soto said. “I hope we’re going to have a good time there, and try to convince him to come back. We will see.”

The next question to be answered is if Soto will compete in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby for the second year in a row. Last July, he hammered a record-setting 520-foot homer at Coors Field and defeated No. 1-seeded Shohei Ohtani in a memorable first round before being eliminated by eventual champion Pete Alonso.

“I’ve been thinking,” Soto said on Saturday of his potential participation. “I’m still thinking to see what I’m going to do. We’re going to see in the next couple of days what I’m going to do.”

Soto will have a familiar face in the dugout of Dodgers Stadium. Manager Dave Martinez was selected to the National League coaching staff by Braves manager Brian Sntiker. This will be Martinez’s fourth All-Star coaching experience.