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Nationals Dominican Academy goes crazy for Juan Soto's double in World Series

Nationals Dominican Academy goes crazy for Juan Soto's double in World Series

In only his second season in the major leagues, 20-year-old outfielder Juan Soto has fans all over the country -- and the world -- rooting for him in the World Series, including some teens at the Nationals Dominican Academy.

Early Wednesday, Johnny DiPuglia, the Nationals via the team's president of international scouting, posted a video to Twitter of a roomful of kids at the Nats Dominican Academy going wild for Soto's two-run double in Game 1 of the World Series. The hit put the Nationals ahead 5-2 and secured their eventual 5-4 win over the Astros to take the 1-0 lead.

Only a few years ago, that could have been Soto in that room. The Nationals signed the outfielder as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.

Soto made his MLB debut just three years later on May 15, 2018, after what can only be described as a meteoric rise to superstardom

On Tuesday, Sunday went 3-for-4 with a home run in Game 1 of the World Series in only his second season in MLB.

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Juan Soto greets Nationals fans while dressed as Santa Claus

Juan Soto greets Nationals fans while dressed as Santa Claus

The winter can feel like one of the slowest seasons of the year, especially for baseball fans who long for the season to pick back up again.

But Nationals outfielder Juan Soto met with fans on Saturday at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia, and did his best to make them feel merry by getting in the holiday spirit.

Soto already helped give D.C. the greatest gift of all in a World Series title, so maybe he really is Mr. Claus.

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Nationals sign reliever Kyle Finnegan to major-league deal

Nationals sign reliever Kyle Finnegan to major-league deal

The Nationals announced their first move toward rebuilding their bullpen for the 2020 season Sunday, signing right-hander Kyle Finnegan to a major-league deal.

Finnegan, 28, became a free agent for the first time this winter after seven seasons in the Oakland Athletics’ minor-league system. The A’s drafted him in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft out of Texas State, originally developing him as a starter until converting him into a reliever in 2016.

Oakland granted Finnegan an invite to Spring Training ahead of last season, but he never made his way onto the team’s 40-man roster. His breakout season was in 2019, when the organization asked him to lower his arm slot to generate more movement on his pitches.

Finnegan posted a 2.66 ERA with 14 saves over 42 appearances for AA-Midland and AAA-Las Vegas last year. His fastball has touched triple digits in the past but sits in the mid-to-upper 90s. His newfound success has also seen him rack up more strikeouts, as evidenced by his K/9 that jumped from 9.7 in 2018 to 12.8 in 2019.

Prior to signing with Washington, Finnegan joined the Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League. He has a 2.31 ERA in 14 appearances so far this winter.

The Nationals’ 40-man roster now sits at 30 with the addition of Finnegan following non-tenders of Javy Guerra and Koda Glover. It will move up to 32 once the signings of Yan Gomes and Howie Kendrick are made official. The move comes less than 12 hours before the MLB Winter Meetings are scheduled to begin in San Diego.

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