The MLB trade deadline was crazy, with a number of key players changing teams. But no deal was bigger than that of the Washington Nationals trading Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres. Despite hitting just .249 this year, the incredibly talented 23-year-old has a .411 on-base percentage this year. That is because of his propensity to earn walks.
He walks at such a high frequency that he actually set a mark previously held by Ted Williams. According to MLB’s Sarah Langs, with Soto’s two walks Sunday night, he now has 469 for his career.
THERE IT IS! 468 walks for Juan Soto, tied for most before turning 24
Most walks before turning 24, since at least 1901:
Juan Soto: 468
Ted Williams: 468
Mel Ott: 466
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 8, 2022
That is the most by any player before the age of 24 since at least 1901.
It did not make much of a difference Sunday, as the Dodgers beat the Padres 4-0. Tyler Anderson improved to 13-1 with another stellar outing for Los Angeles. Cody Bellinger provided all of the offense the Dodgers needed, hitting two home runs.
It was a big series between the two NL West rivals. San Diego was attempting to show that their trade for Soto, alongside Josh Bell, made up the gap between the teams. Instead, the Dodgers got the sweep and increased their division lead to 15.5 games.
The Padres are still in the thick of the wild card chase though. They are just a half game behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the second spot and 3.5 behind the Braves for the top spot.
Juan Soto will need to continue his prowess at the plate if San Diego is to make the postseason. It’s going to take more than just walks too. That’s one of the key differences thus far between Soto and Teddy Ballgame. Williams is an absurd .344 career hitter. He was the last man to ever hit .400 for a season.