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Video: 19-year-old Juan Soto hits first major league home run

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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.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.