Nationals outfielder Juan Soto hit his first major league homer on Monday evening, drilling a three-run jack on the first pitch he saw from Padres starter Robbie Erlin in the second inning. It went 422 feet to the opposite field.
Soto, 19, made his major league debut on Sunday, striking out in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning. The prospect made waves already this season, cranking out 14 home runs and driving in 52 runs across 182 plate appearances with Single-A Hagerstown, High-A Potomac, and Double-A Harrisburg. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.