Major League baseball’s 2019 regular season schedule is approaching the finish line. With just six weeks left of play, the Washington Nationals have shifted gears making a quest for playoff baseball.
The Washington Nationals have gotten red-hot down the stretch of August, winning 10 of their last 12 games. In doing so, they’ve remained in striking distance with the NL East leader, Atlanta Braves.
While being on this current hot streak, the Nationals’ 20 year old Juan Soto has been sensational. Soto’s consistent play and strong power at the plate have given the Nationals good indication that they still have a solid chance to dethrone Atlanta for the division lead. They currently find themselves 5.5 games back from the division and will play the Braves seven more times.
Last week, Soto became the third youngest player in baseball to hit 50 home runs before the age of 21. He busted onto the scene in the latter part of last season with Washington, and his production was eye-opening then. Many believe he’s the reason why the Nationals moved on from Bryce Harper since they could get similar production without forking over a $300-plus million contract.
In fact, Soto has statistically put together a better 2019 campaign than Harper has in his first year in Philadelphia. Soto’s slashing .286/.399/.548 and posting a WAR of 4.1, all which are better than the numbers that Harper has produced this season.
Soto’s the only player in MLB history to post multiple seasons with at least 20 home runs and 70 RBIs before turning 21. And the craziest thing about the youngster is he still has time to develop into something better. Yes, he’s already a star in the league, but with just two years under his belt, his production can potentially rise with more experience and maturity.
Although Washington remains 5.5 out of the NL East, they do find themselves in the driver seat for October baseball as they have a two-game lead in the Wild Card.
With the starting rotation that they possess in Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin at the top to go along with Soto and the heart of their lineup, the Nationals will be a team to watch in the final weeks of the regular season.