Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 with the Pittsburgh Pirates in D.C.

Juan Soto reached base in all 5 plate appearances in Sunday’s win within the sequence finale with Texas’s Rangers, with a single and 4 walks (for an MLB-high 61 free passes earlier than Monday’s sport). As his supervisor, Davey Martinez, mentioned after the sport, nevertheless, he’d wish to see extra hits if that’s attainable.

“I would love him to stroll a pair occasions and hit the ball just a few occasions,” Martinez mentioned, “however he’s going to take his walks, and that’s — when he’s taking his walks I do know he’s able to hit. So, he’s seeing the ball. He acquired on base for us and the opposite guys, [Nelson Cruz] and Josh [Bell], picked us up huge time right this moment, they hit the ball nicely.”

Soto scored two of the 5 occasions he reached base within the 6-4 win over the Rangers. Martinez mentioned earlier than the sequence opener with the Pittsburgh Pirates he went again and watched the win and Soto’s at-bats in a single day. From what he noticed, Soto actually didn’t get a lot to hit.

“I believe, one, they had been making an attempt to avoid him, however like I mentioned, he didn’t chase, which is sweet,” Martinez defined.

“For me that’s all the time a great signal. Trigger as you understand, typically, and I’ve seen it the place he begins chasing balls as a result of he desires to do an excessive amount of, however the largest factor for him is to not chase, you understand, in the event that they’re going to stroll you, stroll you, and people different guys behind you have got a chance to drive you in. And I believed he did an important job. The largest factor for me is that when he does get a ball within the strike zone, he needs to be prepared. He’s not getting very many, however when he does, he’s acquired to be able to hit them.”

Trying carefully at Soto’s at-bats, nevertheless, Martinez mentioned, he did discover that his 23-year-old slugger did take some strikes just about proper down the center of the plate (see beneath):

“I noticed one which was 2-0,” Martinez sort-of-joked, “that was — actually I replayed it six occasions, proper down the center. I used to be going to ask him why, however whenever you don’t see very many pitches, and also you’re taking, taking, taking, typically you don’t pull the set off, and I need him to be prepared to tug the set off. Like I informed him earlier than, ‘I’d fairly see you hit a 2-3 run homer than take a stroll,’ however like I mentioned, the truth that he does perceive and is aware of the strike zone higher than any younger participant I’ve ever seen, he can try this. He can get away with giving the pitcher a strike and keep within the at-bat.”

Although Soto’s numbers (.223/.377/.438 after he went 2 for 3 with a stroll final evening) aren’t what we’ve come to count on from the fifth-year star, Martinez mentioned he’ll get there.

“Juan is Juan. Everyone says he’s struggling a bit bit, however I lookup and his OPS is over .800 [.815 after last night’s game]. So, he’s going to be simply superb,” Martinez informed reporters.

“He’s acquired to grasp too the 2 guys behind him are swinging the bats pretty nicely,” the supervisor added, “so and that claims quite a bit about Juan Soto and the way the league perceives him, as a result of as soon as once more they’re not likely giving him a complete lot to hit, they usually’re making an attempt to face these different guys, they usually’re doing nicely.”

What number of occasions will Soto stroll tonight? What number of hits will he have? Let’s see…