Juan Soto Takes Talents To Big Stage During World Series Debut
This World Series may be the "national coming out party" for Nationals LF Juan Soto, who in last night's Game 1 became just the fourth player to hit a home run in the Fall Classic before turning 21, according to Thom Loverro of the WASHINGTON TIMES. Soto has "charisma to match his talent," and he "doesn't shrink from the limelight." If Fox is "searching for baseball stars for this World Series show, they have found one in Soto." He is MLB's "marketing dream," marked by his "dance in the batters box -- the 'Soto shuffle' -- his smile and enthusiasm." Loverro: "He may be Mike Trout with personality" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/23). In N.Y., Tyler Kepner notes Soto made a "dynamic World Series debut," going 3-4 with a homer, a two-run double and a stolen base. He also became the "third-youngest player to bat cleanup in a World Series" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/23). In Texas, Quinton Martinez writes the "burgeoning star ... was ready for the biggest stage in baseball" (CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER TIMES, 10/23). YAHOO SPORTS' Mike Oz writes Soto doing "this in his first World Series game and in his franchise's first World Series game is nothing short of remarkable" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/23). In DC, Chase Hughes writes Soto "continues to associate himself with some of the best young players to ever play the game," showing that the biggest moments "do not faze him" (NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com, 10/23). Also in DC, Barry Svrluga writes Soto is a "generational talent on baseball's grandest stage" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23).
ALL EYES ON HIM: In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes an at-bat by Soto "mixes performance art and the art of hitting." Soto will "shimmy and strut between pitches, stick out his tongue, wag his head, make an exaggerated movement toward the mound after most pitches, on occasion grab his crotch." Sherman: "He has Joey Votto's feel for the strike zone and Lady Gaga's stage show" (N.Y. POST, 10/23). USA TODAY's Nate Scott writes Soto is "such an exciting player that he makes taking a pitch thrilling." The "Soto shuffle" does not seem "to be a marketing thing, or a way for Soto to stand out." Scott: "The dude doesn't do it every time, or only in the biggest games. He does it when it feels right" (USATODAY.com, 10/23). Baseball America tweeted, "Soto has taken baseball by storm this October." BBC Sport: "Not a bad way to introduce yourself." Alex Rodriguez: "20-year-olds don't adjust after one at-bat like Juan Soto just did. Especially not on this stage. Super impressive. #WorldSeries #WonderKid" (TWITTER.com, 10/22).