Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals is bound for greatness in the world of baseball. One proof of that was him winning the Silver Slugger Award, a prestigious Major League Baseball award. Though it would have been sweeter if the Washington Nationals successfully defended the World Series title, the 22-year-old knows that God has better things in store for them and him individually.
Winning the Silver Slugger Award is a fitting end to Soto's 2019-20 season. It appends his list of achievements, which included being part of the Nationals 2019 MLB champion team.
Soto was one of several top offensive performers recognized at every position. He is also one of three National League outfielders to be feted alongside Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves, NBC Sports reported. For being part of that talented group, Soto shared his thoughts and thanked everyone who voted for him.
"I am so happy to win this award," Soto said in a statement. "Thank you to the opposing managers and coaches who voted for me. I am proud to be a part of this year's talented group of award winners."
Soto also thanked many who worked with him and pushed him to be the best that he can be, including Troy Gingrich, Dave Martinez, Kevin Long, and Pat Roessler. He then expressed his gratitude to his family:
"I also want to thank my family who is there to support me each and every day," he said.
It was not a smooth season for Soto who missed the first games for Washington. Now widely known as the celebrated "false positive coronavirus test," the "Childish Bambino" wasted no time proving he was well enough and that he deserved to be on the field.
His performance during the recent MLB season is proof of this. He led all of MLB in on-base percentage (.490), on-base plus slugging (OPS) percentage (1.185), and slugging percentage (.695), as he hit 13 home runs in 47 games and paced the NL with a .351 batting average.
With the success he is enjoying in baseball, Soto credits it all to God. He admits that his rise in the sport would have not been possible if God had not blessed his achievements one after the other.
"It's a blessing from God, to be here in the big leagues and play baseball like I have," Soto said in a report from the New York Times. "I never thought I'd be this talented of a player."
His faith in the Lord is without a doubt genuine, and he continues to keep the faith. Back in March when the coronavirus started to spread, he posted an inspiring message on his Instagram account, urging everyone to smile and consider the fact that God is protecting everyone.
"Smile, you don't know what God is protecting you from," Sotto's social media post read after translation.
Looking ahead, there is no question that Soto's rise in the sport is on course. Trials are coming his way but he appears ready to take on them with God by his side.