The Nationals may not be going back to the playoffs this year, but the excitement from their 2019 World Series title has still evidently carried over into 2020.
Twenty-one-year-old phenom Juan Soto has the fifth overall best-selling jersey of this season, MLB announced Friday. Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer joined him at seventh as the two Nationals players to crack the top 10.
Only the Los Angeles Dodgers, employers of Mookie Betts (first), Cody Bellinger (sixth) and Clayton Kershaw (ninth), had more players in the top 10 than the Nationals. According to the New York Times’ James Wagner, Betts unseated New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for the top spot on the list after Judge held the distinction for three straight years.
Soto has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season, going into play Friday leading the majors in both on-base percentage (.487) and slugging percentage (.703). However, a positive COVID-19 test just before the start of the season prevented him from playing for the first eight games, which coupled with the Nationals’ record likely eliminates him from NL MVP honors.
Scherzer won’t be among Cy Young finalists this season either, but he’s still been a quality starter for the Nationals in his age-35 season. The right-hander will go into his final start of the season Friday carrying a 3.67 ERA and 85 strikeouts over 11 appearances.