Sports

Juan Soto accomplishes career-firsts after launching two long homers into Yankee Stadium bleachers

In case you didn’t realize, it is not hyperbole when people call Juan Soto a “generational talent.”

He’s one of just six players ever to have an on-base percentage of .400 and a slugging percentage of .500, and to have hit 150 home runs through the age of 24. The others are Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols.

But as talented as he is, there was still something he had yet to accomplish in his already incredible career.

Juan Soto

Juan Soto, #22 of the New York Yankees, hits a home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 18, 2024, in New York City. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old is enjoying his first (and possibly final) season in New York Yankees pinstripes, and it sure sounds like he is open to extending with them before he hits what should be a fascinating free agency.

And what he did Saturday is exactly why he’ll be in the running to pass Shohei Ohtani’s $700 million contract.

Soto blasted two home runs on Saturday, both into the Yankee Stadium right field bleachers, in the Bombers’ 6-1 win over the lowly Chicago White Sox.

It was the 18th multi-homer game of Soto’s career (he still hasn’t had three in a game, yet), as they traveled a combined 854 feet.

But, according to MLB stat guru Sarah Langs, it was the first time that Soto hit both of the homers at least 110 mph.

His first one, a solo shot in the first inning, left the bat at 112.5 mph, traveling 417 feet. So no, this was no short-porch shot, as it would have been a homer in all 30 MLB parks.

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But his second one was even more impressive, going several rows into the bleachers after leaving the bat at 110.2 mph, traveling 437 feet.

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Juan Soto after homer

Juan Soto, #22 of the New York Yankees, reacts after hitting a home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 18, 2024, in New York City. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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Oh, and sandwiched in between those dingers was a 107.3 mph single, and then he added another single that left his bat at 110.1 mph.

It was the first time Soto ever had three batted balls at over 110 mph, Lang says.

Soto had entered the day in quite a slump – he had been 4 for his last 31. So, naturally, he made up for lost time by going 4-for-4, tying his career-high with 10 total bases.

Juan Soto bat flip

New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) flips his bat after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium.  (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Soto is the frontrunner to win the AL MVP, albeit early in the season. He is hitting .317 with 11 homers, 37 RBI, and a .975 OPS. His performance on Saturday helped the Yankees win their sixth in a row and improve to an AL best 32-15 on the season.

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