The Yankees have 2 MVP candidates batting back-to-back

MLB: New York Yankees at San Francisco Giants
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees couldn’t have orchestrated a better outcome when they acquired superstar slugger Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres this past off-season. Given Soto’s exceptional performance, managing partner Hal Steinbrenner is poised to offer him a substantial contract extension, even at the cost of letting several other players, including Gleyber Torres and Alex Verdugo, leave in free agency. This move underscores the necessity of sacrifices to secure a talent like Soto for the long term.

In a display of his prowess, Soto propelled the Yankees to a series sweep over the San Francisco Giants with a two-home run game. On the day, he went three for five, amassing three RBIs and boosting his season averages to a .322 batting average, .417 on-base percentage, and .614 slugging percentage. Aaron Judge also contributed significantly, collecting two hits in three at-bats, including two walks.

Dynamic Duo Powers Yankees

As the season progresses, Soto continues to impress, hitting .320 with a 1.019 OPS before the game and ranking in the 100th percentile in expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA), average exit velocity, barrel percentage, and hard-hit percentage. While Judge has been phenomenal, Soto’s offensive output over the past month places him just slightly behind Judge in terms of production.

MLB: New York Yankees at San Francisco Giants
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Soto is on track to hit 44 home runs this season, with Judge aiming for 56. This dynamic duo forms one of the most potent offensive pairings in recent decades, each serving as MVP candidates for the Yankees. Notably, Judge was named the player of the month for May, boasting a .361 batting average, .479 on-base percentage, .918 slugging percentage, and a staggering 1.397 OPS, along with 14 home runs.

Both Soto and Judge have also excelled defensively. Soto has maintained a perfect fielding percentage over 527 innings this season, contributing two defensive runs saved and one out above average. His performance with runners in scoring position is nearly mythical, hitting .388/.443/.735 with four home runs and 36 RBIs.

This formidable pair was instrumental in the Yankees’ comeback from a 5-3 deficit in the ninth inning of their recent game against the Giants. With the rest of the batting order effectively getting on base, Soto’s clutch batting has been crucial.

Looking ahead, the Yankees will return to the Bronx to face the Minnesota Twins in a three-game series before a highly anticipated weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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