Juan Soto is the NL East’s Best Position Player

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Juan Soto

The NL East is going to be stacked with talent with the great pitchers like Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. They also have some fantastic teams like the Braves, Mets, and defending Champion Washington Nationals. The hitting in this division is also pretty good with these top three teams. There are sluggers such as Bryce Harper, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Ronald Acuña, and Freddie Freeman. The only problem for the Nationals’ rivals is that none of THEIR position players are Juan Soto.

Juan Soto VS The Rest of the NL East

Most of the objections to my bold claim in the title stem from one players’ existence; Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. I won’t just compare Juan Soto to him, in fact I’ll compare him to other players in the division as a fair comparison.

Players (2019)fWARwRC+wOBAxwOBAOAA
Pete Alonso4.8143.384.374-7
Juan Soto4.8142.394.4076
Freddie Freeman4.0138.387.3942
Ronald Acuña Jr.5.6126.369.386-1
Jeff McNeil4.4143.384.355-4
Bryce Harper4.6125.365.3871

When you look at the metrics, Soto leads in wOBA, xwOBA, and OAA, meaning defensively he’s the best of the group and offensively he is as well. Yes Ronald Acuña almost had a 40/40 season but that’s not the best way to statistically measure a player, as players like Renato Nunez hit 30+ home runs but aren’t great hitters, (99 wRC+).

OAA (Out Above Average) and stats like wOBA and xwOBA are the most complete metrics in calculating defensive and offensive value, and with Soto leading in those, it’s pretty clear who’s the king here.

What To Expect From Juan Soto in 2020

Juan Soto could run for MVP but there are studs like Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, and Cody Bellinger in the NL. I think given two more years, Soto will have his first MVP, but in 2020 expect his stats to look great.

I think a .400 wOBA with about 12 home runs and some solid defense will be what you see from him, and of course, about 17 Soto slides (at minimum) this year. The NL East will have to deal with Juan Soto for years to come, and they won’t be ready.

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