San Diego Padres Juan Soto is amid a slight hitting slump, emphasizing “hitting slump” because, despite a .153 average since August 15th, the on-base percentage is still a healthy one at .342 in that span.
For reference, Colorado Rockies Charlie Blackmon is hitting .295 in the same span and yet Soto possesses the higher on-base percentage.
This morning on 95.7 the fan Padres manager Bob Melvin recognized Soto’s ability to still be productive despite the lack of hits. “If you are getting on base .400 those are slumps not too many people, I know he wants to contribute more with the bat.”
What Melvin alludes to Soto wanting to contribute more with his bat is what all Padres fans want to see as well. Since the trade deadline on August 2nd, Soto is 22nd in offensive WAR amongst outfielders. The Padres made the trade for Soto at the deadline because he is one of the best in the game regardless of position. The Padres are still waiting for that breakout streak because the .232/.397/.374 is nowhere near the expectations for Soto in terms of batting average and slugging-wise. Soto is a career .291/.427./.538 hitter during his time in Washington – those numbers should be the expectations.
In all fairness it’s not like Soto never had hitting slumps in Washington, every great player goes through one and some go through it multiple times a year. This weekend series versus a division rival who I won’t mention would be a great time for Soto to get hot.
“There is no doubt in my mind he with 20-plus games left that he is going to hit his stride at the right time.” Melvin said about Soto turning around the hitting slump and he’s right. Despite the Playoffs and the Brewers creeping up, there is no room for panic like a player of Soto’s caliber. Maybe if it was Eric Hosmer slumping at this time then yeah sure, but you can all agree Hosmer is no Soto.
Once Soto starts clicking and then you pair him with a Manny Machado – the sky’s the limit. The final stretch of the year should be a fun one, buckle up.
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