Washington Nationals star Juan Soto is having his customary great performance to start the 2022 season.
Before Friday’s games, he is slashing .260/.448/.480 with three home runs and a solid .928 OPS.
We know he is capable of better, but his numbers aren’t bad by any means.
He does have only three RBI though, which means that the only times he has driven someone in has been himself, via home run.
What does that mean?
Does that mean he is not seeing enough RBI opportunities by virtue of the Nationals’ subpar lineup?
One would think so: the Nats aren’t very good.
The RBIs Should Come Eventually For Soto
But that’s not the reason, according to the Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty.
“A misconception is that Juan Soto has had very few chances with men on/RISP so far this season. I thought so too before I looked just now. League average for PAs for the No 2. spot (where Soto hits) is 11.8. Soto has 12 through 15 games (one walk, one hit, four Ks),” he tweeted.
Soto has seen 12 men in scoring position during his at-bats so far, but has failed to take advantage.
So while Washington’s lineup, especially the bottom part, is not that impressive, we can’t blame them for Soto’s lack of RBI.
As Dougherty notes, the number of hitters in scoring position Soto has seen is “right around league average, which of course doesn’t mean WSH can’t hope for more from 7-8-9-1 in the order (César Hernández has to reach more, as noted earlier this week). But Juan Soto’s RISP chances are not an aberration in the young season. Quite the opposite, actually.”
So right around league average, which of course doesn’t mean WSH can’t hope for more from 7-8-9-1 in the order (César Hernández has to reach more, as noted earlier this week). But Juan Soto’s RISP chances are not an aberration in the young season. Quite the opposite, actually.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) April 22, 2022
Soto will drive in runs eventually: he is too good to keep failing when he has men on base.