On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this past weekend, fans were asked which player age-22 or younger they would pick first if starting an MLB team. Nationals outfielder Juan Soto finished third out of three choices, but someone with over 3,000 hits, nearly 700 home runs and three MVP awards on his resume begs to differ.
Given a choice between Soto, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., Alex Rodriguez hesitated but had a clear choice.
“Oh boy… I would take all three but that wouldn’t be fair,” Rodriguez said as the Braves and Phillies played. “I would probably go with, um… such a difficult decision. Probably Soto, just a little bit more proven, I’ve seen more. I’d love to see Tatis a little bit more.”
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While Acuna is currently out with a wrist injury, Tatis has been the talk of MLB with his league-leading 12 home runs and apparent disregard for baseball’s “unwritten rules.” Still, Soto’s track record on the biggest stage is what seems to have won A-Rod over.
“All three of them are 10s, but Soto has done it in a World Series,” Rodriguez said. “He was the best hitter on a World Series team and he became like Reggie Jackson for 10 days! It was unbelievable what he was doing, he was so poised, so calm and he led the team to a championship.”
Entering Monday, Soto is hitting .367 with 7 home runs in 17 games played. For comparison’s sake, it has taken Tatis 30 games to reach 12 home runs this season. He's hitting .314 this season.