Juan Soto’s HR in Washington Nationals’ continued game to be recorded as pre-debut


WASHINGTON — Add time travel to the list of Juan Soto‘s accomplishments.

On Monday, the Washington Nationals rookie crushed a pinch-hit homer against the New York Yankees in the continuation of a game that started May 15 — five days before his big league debut.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Soto’s blast will not be considered his first major league homer, but it will be counted as a home run hit on May 15.

Asked whether he thought the time element was weird, Soto said, “Not much. It’s like I come back as a pinch hitter. … It feels very good when you do your job.

“I don’t think about all that,” he said when asked about the time-traveling quirk. “I know because somebody told me. I just come to play my game and keep going.”

Soto’s homer Monday — a 444-foot, two-run shot off New York reliever Chad Green that reached the back of the second deck in right-center field — was his sixth since being called up from Double-A Harrisburg on May 20 and his second against the Yankees.

The homer was the difference in the Nationals’ 5-3 win in Game 1.

“A pitch right in his hot zone. Soto got us again,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously a really good looking player. Two pretty big shots he’s hit against us.”

Soto started in left field in Game 2 of the doubleheader and went 2-for-4, but the Yankees won 4-2.

Before making his debut, Soto had just 31 at-bats above Class A. In 25 games with the Nationals, the 19-year-old rookie is hitting .325 with a .413 on-base percentage. Before the season, he was ranked as the No. 42 prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law.

“I wish he was climbing the ladder more routinely. He should be in about Double-A now,” Boone said. “What can you say? Nineteen and obviously doing really well.”

Although Soto’s feat Monday was unusual, it’s not unprecedented. Former All-Star sluggers Dave Parker (1973) and Barry Bonds (1986) are among the players who recorded hits in the continuation of games that were started prior to them making their debuts.

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