But they will have, starting tonight, one of MLB’s best one-two punches in Soto and Manny Machado.
And when Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready to make his long-awaited return, it’s hard to picture a better trio in the heart of a lineup.
But enough fantasizing: let’s get back down to Earth and assess the reality.
The reality is that Tatis is not yet ready to return, but Soto has already arrived in San Diego.
A New Chapter For The Generational Talent
His locker is all set in Petco Park, and the Padres uploaded a short video of him admiring it.
He is seen arriving in front of his locker, unpacking some stuff, and looking at his name tag over his stuff.
“Soto”, it says, with his number 22 on it.
Juan Soto. The newest San Diego Padre.
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) August 3, 2022
Everything is ready for him to make his Padres debut tonight, in front of his new fans in San Diego.
Soto, a World Series winner, has also gone to two All-Star Games, won a batting title, two Silver Slugger awards, and this year’s Home Run Derby; and he is 23.
He is the definition of a difference-making offensive player: his legendary plate discipline has earned him Ted Williams comparisons.
The Padres will enjoy his contributions for three playoff runs, starting in 2022.
After that, no one knows what he will do or where he will sign.
Until 2024, though, his future is tied to the talented Padres.