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2022 Padres Player Review: Juan Soto

Soto was eventually going to show up and play like himself. He ended up doing it in October

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Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

2022 Regular Season Statistics

3.8 fWAR, 153 G, .242 AVG, .401 OBP, .452 SLG, 149 OPS+, 93 R, 62 RBI, 27 HR

Positives From This Season

Juan Soto didn’t play terrible defense for the Padres after he was traded from Washington before the deadline. Offensively he got it going in his last 15 regular season games, hitting .309 with 3 home runs and a .970 OPS in that span.

Soto logged four hits in the Wild Card Series (2 RBI), three hits (1 RBI) in the Division Series and four hits (4 RBI) in the Championship Series. If there’s any fans out there who were concerned about Soto at the plate, those worries should be gone. It took him some time to adjust but he’s not afraid in the big moments and he’s going to be even more comfortable next year in the brown and gold.

Negatives From This Season

Those fans I was just referring to were concerned with Soto because he wasn’t Juan Soto immediately. He hit .202 with just 7 RBI in his first 35 games as a Padre and went 3-for-36 in a 11-game span from August 29 to September 10.

Soto will slump at some point in 2023 because that’s just baseball but expect him to be a hard out for opposing pitchers yet again because of his out-of-this-world plate discipline. Getting another superstar in front of him (hopefully) for most of the season will help too.

As for Soto’s defense, he’s not Ken Griffey Jr. out there but he’s also not someone who is content with just being a great hitter. He wants to be a great all-around player (and he’s trying to get a huge contract) so there’s no reason to think we won’t see an improved version of Juan Soto in 2023.

If you wish to listen or watch me talk more about Soto’s season on the Talking Friars Podcast/YouTube show, click here!