Juan Soto has not been with the New York Yankees for even a month, yet his name is already being floated around as a favorite to win the 2024 American League MVP award.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com placed Soto as his leading candidate to take home the top honor in the AL, above teammate Aaron Judge and the rest of the field, saying:
“All we’re ultimately doing here is guessing, but it’s not that hard to draw up a narrative scenario in which the oft-injured Judge and/or Giancarlo Stanton miss some time, the Yankees make the playoffs anyway, and Soto’s contributions are seen as a definitive difference-maker,” Castrovince said.
Yankees: Juan Soto is No Stranger to Placing High in MVP Voting
When looking at Soto’s consistency, it is within the realm of possibility and even likelihood that the left fielder will garner MVP votes.
Soto has already finished in the top 10 in voting in four of his six years in the league. His 2023 campaign was his most well-rounded outing. As a result, he finished No. 6 among all National League candidates. His previous career-best 2021 season saw him come in at No. 5.
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Soto Did Something That Only 3 Other Players Achieved Last Season
Soto was one of four players who hit at least 35 home runs, recorded 100 or more RBIs, and stole at least 10 bases last season. He did so by playing in one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in the league. The San Diego Padres’ Petco Park received a Park score of 95, making them the third-hardest for hitters to perform. Yankee Stadium is more favorable, receiving a score of 98, good for No. 22 overall.
Given his acclimation to adverse circumstances, coupled with his well-rounded ability to produce in a multitude of categories, Soto is primed to excel in New York.
A Series of Favorable Variables Make Soto’s 2024 Outlook Appear Strong
Health is also on his side. Soto has played in at least 150 games in each of his last three years and has only had one season in which he played in less than 78 percent of his team’s games. Castrovince also highlighted Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s inability to stay on the field in 2023, which may carry over into 2024.
One way or another, Soto has the offensive punch, defensive capabilities, and favor with the voters to capture MVP honors come next winter, regardless of how many contemporaries in the AL show out.