19-year-old outfielder Juan Soto makes Nats' debut
WASHINGTON (AP) Outfielder Juan Soto struck out in his major league debut for the Washington Nationals, at 19 becoming the youngest player in the major leagues.
He pinch hit to leading off the eighth inning Sunday and saw four pitches from Erik Goeddel in a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I like his swing, I really do," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He just missed a fastball, fouled it back."
Martinez plans to insert Soto into the starting lineup at some point during a three-game series against San Diego.
"I'm going to look at the matchups but I definitely want him to play over the next two days," Martinez said.
Soto played for three teams in the minor leagues this season and hit .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs.
"I was in shock," Soto said before the game. "I didn't think it would happen that quick but I feel pretty good."
Soto became the first 19-year-old to debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016 and just the second Nationals player to debut at 19 years after Bryce Harper, who was 19 years, 195 days in 2012.
Soto started the season at Class A Hagerstown, made his debut at Class A Potomac on April 24 then moved up to Double-A Harrisburg on May 10.
Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was optioned to Harrisburg, and outfielder Moises Sierra was designated for assignment to make room for Soto, whose contract was selected from the Senators. Washington also recalled shortstop Adrian Sanchez from Syracuse.
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Updated May 20, 2018