Nationals outfielder Juan Soto absolutely crushed a solo home run off of Gerrit Cole in the top of the fourth inning of World Series Game 1 against the Astros. The ball reached the train tracks in left-center field and tied the game at 2-2.
Soto, who is 20 years and 362 days old today, became the fourth player in baseball history to hit a home run in the World Series under the age of 21. He joins Andruw Jones (Braves), Miguel Cabrera (Marlins), and Mickey Mantle (Yankees). Pretty good company.
In 10 postseason games entering Tuesday’s action, Soto was hitting a respectable .237/.326/.421 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI across 43 plate appearances.
Update: Soto continued to do damage against Cole, lacing a double off of the wall in front of the Crawford Boxes to knock in two runs in the fifth inning, padding the Nationals’ lead to 5-2.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).