Good news, San Diego Padres fans: you have nothing to worry about regarding superstar outfielder Juan Soto. That is, if you believe his former team's general manager.
Speaking with "The Sports Junkies" on Audacy's 106.7 The Fan (Washington D.C.), Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo gave Soto a vote of confidence that he will, in fact, return to form despite an inauspicious beginning to his Padres tenure.
" "I just see that Juan Soto's Juan Soto, and that at the end of the year, Juan Soto will have Juan Soto numbers. I haven't put too much thought into Juan Soto recently, when we play the Padres we certainly will, but he's gonna get his. That's all I have to say. The numbers will be there at the end of the year because he's that kind of guy." "- Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo
Nationals' GM provides optimistic Juan Soto outlook despite his rough start with the San Diego Padres
There isn't an executive in baseball who should be more familiar with Juan Soto's talent than the man who was responsible for bringing the now 24-year-old outfielder to Major League Baseball from the Dominican Republic. Suffice it to say, Mike Rizzo's word should be as good as anyone's on this matter.
For what it's worth, Soto has started heating up at the plate recently, as he's hitting .296 with a .519 SLG over his last seven games. He also has five home runs and a .799 OPS on the season, a sign that the extra base hits have been coming.
One area where Soto hasn't been lacking this season? On-base percentage, where his .382 mark is characteristic of his keen eye at the plate. That has certainly been a positive early takeaway.
The hope is that Soto keeps ascending towards his old self as the season progresses. If Mike Rizzo is right, the Padres should have much to look forward to this summer.