Nationals

Nationals

Nationals outfielder Juan Soto just turned 21-years-old this past October, but he's already one of the brightest stars in the league.

But as the left fielder enters spring training, his goal remains the same as it was just two years ago, when he began the 2018 season in Single-A ball.

"Right now, it's the same mentality; you got to make the team," Soto said. "I [came] here to make the team. I'm going to fight for my place, keep working hard, keep playing baseball the right way.

"I'm going to fight for my place, keep working hard, keep playing baseball the right way," he continued. "There are a lot of new players, a lot of new outfielders. You don't want to get comfortable. You want to keep going. I come here to play for one spot, and that's why I'm here."

Soto, of course, has firmly cemented his place in the middle of the Nationals lineup. He finished third in gold glove voting at his position a year ago. The 21-year-old is certainly not afraid of the big moment, as seen by his clutch three-RBI single in the NL Wild Card game or his multiple World Series home runs off Gerrit Cole.

A year ago, Soto slashed .282/.401/.538 with 34 home runs and 110 RBIs. With the departure of third baseman Anthony Rendon, the Nationals are counting on even more out of their left fielder, who's become the most feared hitter in Washington's lineup.

But for now, in mid-February? Soto is just focusing on the fundamentals.

 

"This year, I come to work on my swing, my defense, running bases, everything," he said. "Everything is going to help the team win."

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