Nats rookie Juan Soto smashes homer 'before' MLB debut

By Alex Butler  |  June 18, 2018 at 7:01 PM
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June 18 (UPI) -- Washington Nationals rookie Juan Soto hit a home run in a make up game Monday, which will be counted for May 15, before his Major League Baseball debut.

The statistical oddity still won't count as his first career home run, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That moment will be recognized as his homer on May 21 in a 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres. Soto made his official MLB debut on May 20 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He went 0-for-1 in that bout. Soto went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in his first career start on May 21 against the San Diego Padres.

The talented 19-year-old outfielder hit the long ball in the bottom of the sixth inning of Monday's 5-3 win against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

He stepped in to face Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green. The righty fired in two balls, before Soto hacked a foul ball. Soto worked the count to 3-1 before Green's fifth offering. Green tossed in a 96.8-mph fastball and Soto sent it deep to right field, clearing the fence and plating Anthony Rendon. The two-run shot gave the Nationals a 5-3 lead.

The long ball traveled off of his bat at 111.8-mph and went into the top of the second deck and into the concourse at Nationals Park. It traveled 433 feet, according to Statcast.

Soto went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, a run scored and a strikeout in the win. He is now hitting .500 with six home runs and 14 RBIs this season.

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