The New York Yankees have one big reason for optimism heading into the 2024 campaign, and that is Juan Soto. The superstar outfielder was picked up in a trade with the San Diego Padres this offseason, and the hope was that he and Aaron Judge would form the most lethal duo in the league. Early on in Spring Training, it's looking like Soto could just be set for a career year with New York.

He's only had nine at-bats in Spring Training, but Soto has six hits, three of which were home runs, while driving in seven runs and coming around to score five times too. Simply put, New York's new addition is tearing the cover off the ball, and their top pitcher in Gerrit Cole summarized how pretty much every Yankees fan feels watching Soto so far in Spring Training.

“I knew I would enjoy watching him, but like, I love watching him. It’s a real pleasure to get to watch him that I’m thankful for.” – Gerrit Cole, New York Post

Aaron Boone showers Juan Soto with praise

New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) is congratulated by manager Aaron Boone after he scored during the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

If Soto can continue to produce at this high level once the regular season rolls around, the Yankees will be in really good shape to make a run in the American League East this season. Even Aaron Boone seems impressed with just how good Soto has been, noting that his plate discipline and ability to get on base makes him such a threat for New York.

“It’s impressive. I mean, I feel like he’s going to kill the wall every time he swings. It’s fun to watch. He embodies what we want to be as a lineup, with the toughness of the at-bat. He’s certainly that. They’re going to be incredibly careful with Juan Soto. But it should help. The fact that he’s probably going to get on [base] at a ridiculously high clip regardless, to have another great hitter walking up there [behind him] hopefully serves us well.” – Aaron Boone, New York Post

It's only Spring Training, but Soto is already turning heads, whether it be fans, or people in the dugout with him. Assuming Judge can get going too, we will have a chance to see just how dominant this one-two punch can be for the Yankees. But the early returns are encouraging, and it would be wise for the rest of the league to take note.