As Elian Soto celebrated his 16th birthday with family and friends today, Byron Kerr broke news that the younger brother of Juan Soto had agreed to sign with the Washington Nationals when he is eligible in the next international signing period. While that does not sound like a big deal, in the last two weeks, the New York media was reporting that the younger Soto had committed to the Mets for $50,000. It seemed legitimate, especially considering that Soto put up a (now deleted) video of himself taking BP in a Mets uni on his Instagram.
Over the weekend at the LIDOM party in the Dominican Republic, Elian was sporting a custom blue tuxedo which might have been a further indication of his loyalty to the Mets — or at least that is what Mets fans thought at the time.
— Talk Nats ⚾ (@TalkNats) January 10, 2022
Before anyone thinks that signing the younger Soto is like getting a clone of Juan, consider that none of the ranking services has him on their future top prospects lists. There is no Perfect Game stats to look at like we had with Armando Cruz and other international players. What we have here is a shared Soto DNA and the fact that the natural righty is hitting as a lefty like his big bro — and working hard. He is being signed on his potential and that last name.
Fortunately, I have followed Elian over the years through his father’s videos he has posted, and let’s just say that his growth spurt and hard work is paying off. At times his swing has looked soft and too mechanical, but recently I have seen some violent swings from the left-side where he has punished the baseball. His body has transformed from a pudgy kid in his early teen years to a real specimen. He is now almost as tall as his older brother and keep in mind that he just turned 16 today. This is not to say Elian is a future star. Time will tell on that.
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) January 5, 2022
If you look over social media for the previous two weeks, there were some giddy Mets fans who felt that getting Elian inked was a harbinger of things to come where they were connecting the dots that this was assurance that the Mets would sign Juan in three years in free agency. In a world of fantasy, that is known as quite a stretch.
“Vladimir Guerrero Jr. says expected Mets signee Elian Soto hits ball harder than Juan Soto did” https://t.co/vU5rex6r2P
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 5, 2022
Whatever changed the dynamics and the apparent flip-flop seems to point to either a major troll job at the expense of the Mets or just an honest change of heart. We certainly believed that last week, this was heading to a deal with the Mets. But nothing is cast in stone as you remember with Ronald Acuna Jr. who reportedly agreed on a handshake to sign with the Nats as an international free agent, and of course, that did not happen. Also, the new CBA could make all of this for naught if they put a draft in place for the future. So before you pop the champagne bottle, hold off for a while to see this to fruition.
Over at The Nats Report, they connect the dots to take an optimistic approach that this could be a sign of things to come for Juan’s future with the club. While that might be a reach, it is certainly encouraging news, and you take any positives that you can at this point.
Enjoy this for what it is. This weekend is the current international signing period when the Nats should make Cristian Vaquero an official signing and add him as a top prospect in the system. The future is all dependent on the new CBA and that puts most of this as what could be, just like baseball potential — where nothing is guaranteed.