Analytics love this guy. He reached base over 300 times via walks and hits last season.
He walks more than he strikes out.
Analytics compare him to Hall of Famers like Ted Williams.
At 23, he is truly an amazing player.
But, what about for fantasy?
While analytics treat Soto as the best player in the game, is he for our game?
In our game, walks are more of a detriment from our best hitters unless they are speedsters.
Soto is not a base stealer per se.
We can expect 5-10 bags from him for the near future and less as he gets even more of a bulkier frame in the distant future.
Soto drew 145 base on balls this year.
Analytics love that. They don't care about the missed opportunities of hitting the ball like Soto owners have to go through with each at bat.
On top of that, analytics do not care WHY Soto walked 145 times.
The reason is twofold.
First, Soto is to be feared. Feared hitters walk a lot more than other hitters. Pitchers use walks as a defensive weapon to avoid the thunder of a Soto type of bat.
Second, the Nationals have nobody behind Soto. At all.
In every situation, the pitcher asked himself, do I let Soto hit or face the next schmo. They decided on the next schmo a lot.
You would think all these walks to Soto would lead to more Runs, a roto category, but it really doesn't in Soto's case.
The schmo's that hit behind Soto didn't hit.
Soto ended up finishing sixth in Runs, all well and good. But the bases on balls were a waste for his owners.
Soto's 145 base on balls towers over Bo Bichette's measly 40 walks, for instance, but Bichette actually scored 10 more Runs than Soto.
Soto is a first rounder. We all know that. But how do we place a guy like this?
He is a top 10 performer in two roto categories (AVG, Runs)
But the walks have him outside of the top 30 when it comes to HR and RBI.
And worse for him in the coming year is that Trea Turner will not be in the lineup ahead of him.
For potential Soto owners, a sharp eye will have to be honed in on the Nationals moves this off season.
They need offense everywhere to help Soto out.
Where will he be drafted?
I believe he'll be drafted as high as number one and as low as the 10th pick in some drafts.
I love the guy. Especially the way he drives pitchers crazy in the batters box. Very entertaining.
At the same time, I probably will have very few shares of Soto.
On top of being walked as a weapon by the pitcher, Soto is a very picky, discerning hitter.
He enjoys 'beating' the pitcher in the game within the game of his at bats.
As a Soto owner, I would not enjoy this victory.
It would drive me crazy. Especially with runners in scoring position.
But, a lot of folks, even fantasy players love the exercise of a Soto walk.
It's part of what makes him the most interesting man in fantasy baseball.
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