The Padres’ Juan Soto has a number of impressive offensive skills that make him one of the most dangerous hitters in MLB. Above all, Soto’s greatest weapon is his discipline.
Soto’s vision for painting is unparalleled. I’ve never seen a man so willing to put on sexy out-of-the-zone presentations. Soto mocks the shooters’ attempts to chase him. He will happily take and take and take until he is first without his racquet having to let go of his shoulder. Of all eligible hitters, Juan Soto leads the league walking rate (20.8%) – More than four runs ahead of the closest qualified hitter, Max Muncie (16.7%).
Despite Soto’s massive success in Washington, many of his teammates haven’t followed in his footsteps. There is no better player than national team player Luis Garcia.
Garcia is 22 and in his third year in the league. This season is the first year that García OPS-plus has posted more than 100. He has a career-high average at .290. However, despite this high percentage, the on-base percentage for Garcia is only .295. In 228 appearances on the board this year, the shortstop has only managed to walk twice. He had a hit once, so I think that helps, but that said, García’s OBP is incredibly low for someone with that high level.
Let’s put these two paths into perspective, shall we? Juan Soto has played 24 games with two or more careers this year. He played seven games with three or more games. If you count the number of intentional passes, the second number jumps to 10. Since 2010, there have been 433 instances of shooters not named Shohei Ohtani walking at least twice in a season. In 2016, pirate player Trevor Williams walked three boards twice. In 2010, Javier Vazquez of the Yankees did it in five games. He was playing in the American League. The bowlers didn’t collide in MLS and managed to get as many free passes as Garcia. this is madness!
García’s on-base percentage is so low compared to his hitting average that in the history of professional baseball there is only three players For a lower .295 percentage while maintaining an average of .290 or better over at least 200 panel appearances. Their names are John Radcliffe, Ezra Sutton and Mike McGearry. They retired in 1872, 1874, and 1875, respectively.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has only been six players To get an average of 0.290 or better and a percentage based on 0.315 or less: 2013 Willin Rosario (average 292; 0.315 OBP), 2013 Brayan Peña (0.297; 0.315), 2012 Pedro Ciriaco (0.293; 0.315), 2002 Karim Garcia ( .297; .314), 2017 Ronald Torres (.292; .314) and 2019 Harold Castro (.291; .305). No one has come in with an average of .290 or better within nine points of García’s .305 on-base percentage since 1934.
What’s even crazier is that Garcia is not a gratuitous slingshot. In 2022, he swings only 55.6% of the shots thrown. Although this is the highest score of his career, it is still Ranked him 22nd in MLB Among batters with at least 200 plate appearances. Of the 21 players who swing most often, 18 have walked at least ten times. Five walked at least twenty times. The only three that didn’t get double-digit leads were Raimel Tapia (nine), Salvador Perez (nine), and Michael Harris (eight), which means that even at the free-swinging end of the spectrum, García is a ridiculous outlier.
Juan Soto has played six games with the San Diego Padres since his trade. I walked five times. Since joining the Padres, Josh Bell has walked four times. Brandon Drury walked twice. Since joining Nationals, Luke Voit has walked twice. Since joining the Red Sox, Eric Hosmer has walked three times. All of these players joined their new teams a week ago, and each has already surpassed García’s step total for the season.
We see the people of the story. Don’t let it pass.