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New York Yankee Juan Soto Is Somehow Even Better Than We Could Have Ever Imagined

Mike Stobe. Getty Images.

I was at the Stadium Friday night to catch Yankees-Rays and for a bit it felt like one of those nights where the big hit would never come and Tampa would squeak out a low scoring win. Wind blowing in, temps in the low 50s, and the Rays doing that thing with their no-name pitchers. Then some luck went the Yankees' way thanks to some shitty defense by Tampa. Volpe then proceeded to drive in the go ahead run, setting up who but Juan Soto with two on to try and be the game breaker. 

Juan Soto salivates at this kind of opportunity. Pitcher on the ropes, men on base, pressure situation, big man Judge on deck. Walk him and you might get a scenario like on Wednesday when Judge drove in the go ahead runs vs. Toronto in the 9th. Pitch to him, and well, you get this. 

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This clip of Judge getting amped after Soto detonates is fuel for my soul

All of it is so good. You could show me 100 different angles of that moment and the dugout/stadium going bananas and I'll eat them all up with a smile on my face. 

When Soto jogged back out to right field he was greeted by the Bleacher Creatures to a thunderous applause. They didn't stop chanting his name for minutes. He couldn't get enough of it. You couldn't have drew up a better start to this man's career in pinstripes. 

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This guy has been a godsend, sent directly to the Bronx to save us and bring back balance to the force. He's everything this franchise has needed. The numbers with runners in scoring position so far are absolutely stupid: .563/.636/1.188 (9/16) 3 HR, 17 RBI, 5 BB. The energy and swagger he carries with him at all times is infectious. You can feel the fear he instills to the opposition when he steps up to the plate. The motherfucker is just different. 

And listen, we knew Juan Soto was great. He's a modern day Ted Williams with a combination of patience and power that is pretty much unmatched in today's game. He's well on a Hall of Fame track, having already accomplished so much despite only being 25 years old. 

Well, he's somehow surpassed expectations. His at bats are baseball theater. There's never a single moment where he's overwhelmed. Even the defense, which we were told to worry about, has held up more than fine. 

You cannot come up with a dollar and year amount that I would reject when it comes to his upcoming contract. If Passan broke the news tomorrow that they agreed to a 15 year one billion dollar deal I'd simply nod my head and agree that he's worth it. It'd be a straight up bad business decision to let this guy walk having already seen what he's capable of producing and changing with your franchise. The scariest part about all of this is that he might actually be getting better. The way he works at his craft is so awesome to see. In the offseason he was grinding with Jackie Bradley Jr. to improve his defense. At the end of Spring Training he was furious at where his swing was. It's a non stop effort to be the absolute best player on the planet for this guy, and I for one won't be the one to tell him to tone it down. 

The Yankees are 14-6. They have some holes, but also are doing this with several key players completely out of sorts. That's how good Juan Soto is. He can get this squad playing .700 ball against some pretty good competition with Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Gerrit Cole doing virtually nothing for you so far. It's so early, but my god is this already a hell of a lot more fun than 2023. I love Juan Soto so much. 

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