Sullivan: Juan Soto looks like the best teenage hitter in history

From Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs on August 6, 2018:

Every so often it’s fun to review the preseason FanGraphs staff predictions. We predict standings, but we also predict awards, and, clicking and scrolling down to the National League Rookie of the Year predictions, you can see a lot of love for Ronald Acuna Jr. And, you know, he’s a 20-year-old with a 119 wRC+. Very good! Acuna Jr. ran away with the predictions. There were three votes apiece for Lewis Brinson, Victor Robles, and Scott Kingery. And then there were single votes for J.P. Crawford, Ryan McMahon, Alex Reyes, and Nick Senzel. There were zero votes for Juan Soto. In fairness, there were also zero votes for, say, Brian Anderson and Harrison Bader, but this is a Soto article, so that’s where I’m going to focus.

I wouldn’t consider this a case of staff stupidity. Late last October, Soto turned 19 years old. Injuries limited him in 2017 to just 32 games, all in the very low minors. He came into the season as the FanGraphs No. 50 overall prospect. He was ranked No. 56 by Baseball America. When Soto reached the majors, he did it at nearly record speed. His ascent was as much about major-league injuries as it was about his own performance. Soto wasn’t supposed to arrive as quickly as he has.

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Originally published: August 15, 2018. Last Updated: August 15, 2018.