MIAMI -- Nationals phenom Juan Soto continued his record-setting start to his career with another milestone -- tying Mickey Mantle for sixth place on the list for most home runs by a teenager in MLB history. Soto swatted a solo home run into the upper deck of right field during
MIAMI -- Nationals phenom Juan Soto continued his record-setting start to his career with another milestone -- tying Mickey Mantle for sixth place on the list for most home runs by a teenager in MLB history. Soto swatted a solo home run into the upper deck of right field during the second inning of the Nats' 9-1 victory Friday night at Marlins Park, for his 13th home run of the year, matching Mantle's total before turning 20.
Soto's latest home run was a laser off Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez that traveled 420 feet and came off the bat at 104.3 mph -- according to Statcast™ -- began a night he finished 3-for-5 and a double shy of the cycle.
"It's really special," second baseman Daniel Murphy said. "I've actually had the best seat in the house, because I've been on-deck the last couple days to watch him. His swing is so fundamentally sound that he can do damage from foul pole to foul pole, which is unique for anybody, much less a 19-year-old. It seems like he rarely goes out the zone. Takes his walks. And really doesn't strike out a lot. It's really special to watch."
Friday marked Soto's third consecutive game with a home run, the longest streak of his career. He is also the first teenager to homer in three straight games since at least 1908, according to Baseball Reference. In the seven games since the All-Star break, Soto has four home runs and eight RBIs.
Entering Friday's game, Soto led all MLB rookies in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage and was second in home runs among National League freshmen. And he has done this all at the young age of 19, making him one of 10 players in MLB history who have double-digit home runs during their teenage years
"I think he's just working good at-bats and squaring balls up," Nats manager Dave Martinez said. "The thing about him, you talk to him every day and try to keep him grounded and try to tell him to make sure you stay in the middle of the field and take your walks. He's been really good."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.