Another home run, another career mark.
On Thursday, Juan José Soto hit a 114.1-mile-per-hour home run — the hardest homer of his major league career — to Venezuelan right-hander Elieser Hernández in the Nationals’ loss to the Marlins in Miami. It was the third-strongest hit by Soto in his four-year major league career.
“It sounded pretty loud,” Soto said. “One of the things I like to hear every time I hit the ball is how much it sounds.”
The homer went 433, the second-most from a Soto homer this season. Nationals manager Dave Martinez noticed the elevation of the outfielder’s swing.
“He hit the ball hard — very hard,” Martinez said. But that’s the kind of swing he has. It was a great swing. “
As much power as Soto generates when he hits home runs, the slugger pays more attention to exit velocity. On August 17, the Dominican recorded his hardest hit, a 116.6 mph double against the Blue Jays.
“I know most of my home runs are 110 (mph),” Soto said. “Sometimes I feel like I’m hitting harder and every time I watch it, it’s 110. So since 2019, 2020, I’ve forgotten to watch my home run exit velocity. Now I see after a single or double, because I think those numbers are coming out better.
After hitting 11 home runs in the first 79 games of the season, Soto has been hitting them at a good rate. On Thursday, he hit his 10th home run in 36 games since the All-Star Game. That efficiency is even more remarkable when you consider that the ranger has traded 42 walks in that stretch.
“The great thing is that he is being given a lot of tickets. We know that, ”Martinez said. “He has to be ready. We always talk about it. (Pitchers) are going to make one or two mistakes per turn and (Soto) has to be ready to hit them. “
After the series in Miami, Soto and the Nationals prepare to meet the Mets in Queens starting Friday. At Citi Field, the Dominican gave two of the longest homers of his career in 2020.
“I just have to stay in the strike zone and try to find a specific pitch,” Soto said. “If not (they give me that pitch), walk and that’s it. But if they throw it at me, you have to try not to miss it ”.