The San Diego Padres invested resources to make the postseason, both before the campaign started and at the trade deadline.
If the season ended today, they would be making the playoffs as the sixth and last seed in the National League.
Yet, they haven’t really enjoyed the best version of a player who was supposed to help carry them in the second half: Juan Soto.
“Juan Soto in his last 22 games: .151/.333/.233, 2 HR, 3 RBIS. 0 XBH, 0 RBIS & 18 LOB in his last 12 games,” MLB insider Hector Gomez tweeted.
Juan Soto in his last 22 games:
.151/.333/.233, 2 HR, 3 RBIS
0 XBH, 0 RBIS & 18 LOB in his last 12 games. pic.twitter.com/rAWuMoMCXu
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) September 12, 2022
That’s certainly not the kind of performance the Padres had in mind when they traded their farm to the Washington Nationals for the right to have Soto for the next two-and-a-half years.
San Diego Needs Vintage Soto
Soto hasn’t been able to perform like his best version, failing to hit for an extra-base hit in his last 12 games.
In San Diego, the outfielder is hitting for a very disappointing .218/.381/.345 and a 119 wRC+.
He had a 150 wRC+ with the Nationals.
San Diego needs vintage Soto if they are going to hold off the Milwaukee Brewers (who are two games behind the Padres in the race for the final postseason berth).
Manny Machado and the pitching staff can’t do it all by themselves.
To get past the truly elite teams in the National League, Soto needs to recover his MVP form, or the one he had for 2018-2021 to be more specific.
He still has some time to figure things out at the plate.