Juan Soto’s coup returns just in time for Home Run Derby – NBC4 Washington
Soto’s power shot returns just in time for the Home Run Derby originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Juan Soto’s announcement on Wednesday that he would be join the field of MLB Home Run Derby 2021 sent shockwaves of excitement to the world of baseball. Fans and fellow gamers now have the chance to see one of the game’s brightest stars swinging for the Colorado fences.
Soto himself is motivated to compete.
“Yeah, damn yeah,” Soto said after the Nationals’ win over the Padres on Wednesday night. “It will be a great experience and I will enjoy it as much as possible.”
While his primary focus is simply to have fun there – as he does in every game – the 2021 All-Star has a legitimate chance to bring home the trophy. Shohei Ohtani, Pete Alonso, Trevor Story, Trey Mancini, Salvador Perez, Matt Olson and Joey Gallo are worthy contenders, but Soto also has a lot of pop.
This may come as a surprise to some who don’t follow Soto’s game on a day-to-day basis, given that statistics show he has * only * 11 home runs in 2021. While it may be the case, his work speaks for itself. . . This includes 34 circuits in the 2019 season and five more in the team’s World Series race. He also threw 22 in his first taste of the action in 2018.
Additionally, Soto is starting to regain his power kick at the right time when it comes to the Home Run Derby. Homering in back-to-back games against the Padres this week, it’s never been clearer that Soto’s power is alive and well. A prime example came in the first inning on Wednesday when he hit a ball over the fence with such force it came out in the blink of an eye.
With such a low launch angle, some may have wondered how this bullet even came out. Not Soto, however, as he knows hard contact always brings good results.
“Hell yeah, every time. If I hit hard in the air I always think he has a chance,” Soto said.
Swings like this are encouraging for Soto. Although he never doubted his power, 2021 was a year in which he continued to work on his swing to bring the long end of his game back to the fore. It’s not about hitting home runs for Soto, but power is a big part of his offensive arsenal.
Based on the recent sample size and how it feels, it seems like everything is clicking lately.
“I just feel good. We worked a lot, worked hard, ”said Soto. “Today we are seeing good results from swing. Not just about the circuit, but my momentum was better and we passed the ball really well. “
The 2020 batting champion may not have the same hometown tally as some of the other entrants, but Wednesday’s home run says everything there is to know about Soto. With a swing and strength like that, he has a good chance of winning the title.