If you are an MLB hitter these days, you will probably find success if you have two key traits in your offensive profile: power and patience.
Hitting home runs will open lots of doors, but getting on base at a high clip will, too.
It also helps if you are young, because organizations assume that your best years are ahead of you.
And if you have the ability to hit the ball consistently, don’t strike out a lot, and also have sneaky good speed and defense in addition to all those things…then your name is probably Juan Soto.
The Washington Nationals slugger, who has already rejected a $350 million extension because he knows he is worth much, much more than that, is making history at a young age with his elite play.
Soto Is Walking His Way To History
Not only does he have 115 career home runs and he hasn’t even turned 24, but he is also working bases on balls at an incredible rate, up there with the best in history.
“Most MLB walks before their 24th birthday: Ted Williams, 468. Mel Ott, 466. JUAN SOTO, 446. Mickey Mantle, 410. Bryce Harper, 387. Decent group of hitters. Soto won’t turn 24 until after the end of this regular season!” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Most MLB walks before their 24th birthday:
Ted Williams, 468
Mel Ott, 466
JUAN SOTO, 446 👍 @JuanSoto25_
Mickey Mantle, 410
Bryce Harper, 387
Decent group of hitters.
Soto won't turn 24 until after the end of this regular season! pic.twitter.com/nXfZmKCEhJ
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) July 12, 2022
Walks are an incredibly undervalued achievement for hitters.
They get to go to first base without even putting the ball in play and risking an out or, even worse, a double play.
Of course, loud contact would be ideal, but walks are very, very positive for an offense.
In the specific case of Soto, he can both hit the ball hard and get a lot of walks.
He is a special player with an even brighter future and multiple MVP awards on the horizon.