Padres: This Juan Soto fact will blow your mind about his MLB value

Aug 14, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Juan Soto (22) in action against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 14, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Juan Soto (22) in action against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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The San Diego Padres made a blockbuster deal at the 2022 MLB trade deadline to acquire Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals. The 23-year-old Soto has been called a generational talent, but a recent statistic shows just how much of an impact Soto has already made in his five-year MLB career.

Making his MLB debut as a 19-year-old, Soto has already logged 22.1 bWAR, including 7.1 last season when he finished as the National League Most Valuable Player runner-up to Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies (who totaled 5.9).

There is plenty of promise ahead in Soto’s future, and that future could come in San Diego should the Padres be able to work out a deal to keep him past the next two years where they already have team control locked in.

Consider this fact about the impact Juan Soto has already made in his MLB career, even before becoming a member of the San Diego Padres

Soto’s age and team control were two of the biggest factors that interested in teams at the trade deadline in bringing him onto their roster. After all, teams often invest in draft picks who take much longer to make an impact at the MLB level than Soto has already done.

How much longer can it take those draft picks to make a difference? Consider that, heading into Tuesday’s play, 232 players have made their MLB debut so far this season. Of those 232 players, 188 are older than Soto (h/t to @OakTreeStatus for that calculation).

Take a moment and consider that: Only 44 rookies to break into the league this season (so far) are younger than someone who already has a pair of top five MVP finishes.

One of those players younger than Soto to make an MLB debut this season? That would be former Padres shortstop C.J. Abrams, who debuted on Opening Day at the age of 21 but was later traded to the Nationals in the deal that brought Soto (as well as Josh Bell) to San Diego.

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Teams often have to wait years to see if a player can make a difference for their MLB roster, but the San Diego Padres jumped ahead of the process by signing Soto, someone who is already considered a superstar of the game before some of his contemporaries ever even break into the game.