I am a much older and wiser man than I used to be and thus I no longer make a big fuss out of the actual vote tabulations when it comes to awards voting and that sort of thing.*
But some things are confusing, such as how Ian Kennedy got a first place vote for the NL Cy Young Award.
Not to slam Kennedy. Not to make a federal case out of it. Just noting that Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee all had, by just about every measure, a better year than Kennedy did and that Kennedy’s lone first place vote certainly seemed like an outlier. And when you see an outlier like that, it’s natural to want to know who cast it.
An Arizona guy, maybe? A bit of a homer vote? It’s happened before.
Not this time, though. The Kennedy voter was John Maffei of the North County Times near San Diego. Maffei doesn’t have a column up explaining his vote — voters certainly aren’t obligated to do so — but it does seem like a strange one.
*Note: this sentence will be deleted prior to the week-to-ten days I spend raging about the Hall of Fame voting.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.