Hall of Famer Dave Winfield knows why Juan Soto is off to strong start with Yankees: ‘It’s not all on him’


From one New York Yankees proper fielder to the one other, Corridor of Famer Dave Winfield is aware of how a lot Juan Soto means to his former squad. 

Heading into the 2024 season, all Yankee followers might discuss was how Soto’s addition to an already-stacked lineup would look, particularly after a disappointing 82-80 season the 12 months prior. Soto’s profitable spring coaching, the place he was hitting the ball out of the park left and proper, made the hype much more palpable. 

It was there in Tampa Bay the place Winfield obtained to see Soto interacting along with his new teammates within the Yankees’ locker room, and he knew then that he was going to slot in properly. 

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Juan Soto of the New York Yankees warms up within the outfield throughout the Astros recreation at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Houston. (Michael Starghill/MLB Photographs through Getty Photographs)

“I noticed him in spring coaching within the Yankees’ locker room. He appears like he’s free, assured,” Winfield instructed Fox Information Digital whereas selling the brand new “Cracker Jack on the Ballpark” exhibit on the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 

By seven video games this season, the 6-1 Yankees have already seen Soto have a number of “earn your pinstripes” moments – all of which he got here by means of. 

The primary was within the season opener towards the Houston Astros, the place the Yankees held a one-run lead going into the ninth inning. A Kyle Tucker single with runners on first and second put that lead in jeopardy, as Mauricio Dubón rounded third base. 

YANKEES SECURE BEST START TO SEASON IN 32 YEARS WITH FIFTH STRAIGHT VICTORY

Soto, although, sprinted after the ball on the appropriate area grass, got here up firing, and catcher Jose Trevino tagged him for the second out of the inning, preserving the lead. 

“I noticed that play (within the outfield), aggressive protection, charged the ball, caught it on hop, fired to residence, saved the sport. I believed I used to be watching me,” Winfield stated, laughing. 

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After a 3-for-4 second recreation with an RBI and a stroll, Soto hit a go-ahead residence run within the seventh inning of Sport 3, an opposite-field line drive that simply obtained into the Crawford Packing containers in left area. 

Then, within the sequence finale, Soto’s clutch at-bat towards Astros nearer Josh Hader noticed him line a pitch to left area, which led Gleyber Torres to attain to take the lead. He pounded his chest as he ran down the primary baseline, figuring out he might need simply helped his workforce win the sport. 

“It’s a good way to interrupt out onto the stage whenever you’re Participant of the Week,” Winfield stated, as Soto was provided that title for the American League after the primary sequence. 

Juan Soto and Aaron Judge

Juan Soto and Aaron Decide of the New York Yankees throughout the Astros recreation at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, March 28, 2024 in Houston. (Michael Starghill/MLB Photographs through Getty Photographs)

“I really like his instruments, his expertise. Some individuals may suppose he’s only a slugger. As a hitter, he’ll take a stroll and use the whole area. So long as he does that, he shouldn’t endure too many slumps.”

All of this comes earlier than Soto even obtained to play his first recreation at Yankee Stadium, which comes on Friday towards the Toronto Blue Jays. After all, Soto goes to need to shine within the Bronx in entrance of the Yankees trustworthy, however coming from somebody who did it for years, Winfield does not suppose Soto must go above and past. 

His All-Star teammates ease the stress, permitting him to only play like he all the time does. 

“He’s comfy as a result of it’s not all on him,” Winfield defined. “You bought some massive, dangerous gamers over there.… He doesn’t need to be the person. He’s the man in plenty of respects. He’ll do his factor and make nice contributions. However you bought Aaron Decide, you bought Giancarlo Stanton over there. Gerrit Cole when he will get wholesome once more. I’m simply speaking the massive guys. They obtained plenty of contributors over there. 

“So, he’ll have 12 months and I believe he’ll be smiling on the finish of the 12 months, too, as a result of individuals will say, ‘Are you accessible?’ I don’t need to get into free company discuss and all that sort of stuff. However I do know he likes New York.”

Earlier than Winfield obtained to sit down again and watch the Yankees, he was in Cooperstown putting in among the closing items of the Cracker Jack on the Ballpark exhibit within the Corridor of Fame. 

For greater than 125 years, Cracker Jack has proven up in the most important moments in baseball, and naturally, you may’t sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” with out mentioning the long-lasting snack. As such, the Corridor’s exhibit exhibits moments linked to Cracker Jack, together with baseball playing cards and an authentic duplicate of the seventh-inning stretch music. 

Juan Soto and Dave Winfield side by side

Dave Winfield loves what Juan Soto is bringing to the New York Yankees this season. (Getty Photographs)

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And to have fun the exhibit opening on April 4, the most recent Cracker Jack prize is giving a fan a VIP expertise to go to the exhibit in Cooperstown throughout Corridor of Fame weekend from July 19-22 by coming into at CrackerJackHallOfFame.com.

“(The Corridor of Fame) has stuff going again 100 years. Cracker Jack has been round longer than that, so that they obtained some distinctive, iconic items,” Winfield stated. “They obtained a lunchbox, buttons, all types of issues that individuals can relate to.”




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