The teenage phenom was the club's number two prospect and made his debut during the Nationals' 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made the roster after being promoted three times over the last month, following a start at the Class A level earlier this season. During his stint in the minors, Soto hit .362 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs.
Soto told reporters, "I was in shock. I was so excited, I didn't think that would happen." Then he clarified, "I didn't think that was going to happen that quick. But I feel very good."
On Sunday, he pinch hit in the eighth inning and struck out after four pitches. Despite the unsuccessful at bat, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said, "I like his swing, I really do. He just missed a fastball, fouled it back.''
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo explained that age didn't factor into the promotion. "If you can play, you can play," he said. "That was the thought process that went in with this player. He's passed every test that we've thrown at him. And we feel that, because of the circumstances, he's our best option to help us win baseball games in the big leagues and to forward his developmental process."
The move was made in part by Washington's recent string of injuries at the outfield position. Howie Kendrick's season just ended when he tore his right Achilles tendon. He joins fellow outfielders Adam Eaton and Brian Goodwin, who were already on the disabled list.