No. 15 Washington prospect named MVP with .361 average, .960 OPS
Juan Soto collected 22 extra-base hits over 51 games at two levels this season. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | September 13, 2016 5:40 PM
Juan Soto knows how to make a good first impression and has the hardware to prove it.
The Nationals' No. 15 prospect was named Gulf Coast League MVP for the 2016 season and leads the end-of-season All-Stars in the complex-level circuit, the league announced Tuesday.
Soto was signed for $1.5 million out of his native Dominican Republic last July and was assigned to the GCL in June following his first Spring Training in the Washington system. The 17-year-old outfielder led the league with a .361 average, .550 slugging percentage, .960 OPS and 93 total bases in 45 games for the Nationals' GCL affiliate. He also finished second with 61 hits and a .410 on-base percentage. The left-handed slugger didn't stop there either, going 9-for-21 (.429) with three doubles in six games with Class A Short Season Auburn following a Sept. 1 promotion.
The GCL Phillies -- owners of the league's best record at 43-15 -- and GCL Blue Jays led the way with three All-Stars each.
The Phils gave the list both starting pitchers with right-hander Sixto Sanchez (5-0, 0.50 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 44 strikeouts in 54 innings) and southpaw Nick Fanti (7-0, 1.57 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 65 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings). Second baseman Daniel Brito made the list after producing a .284/.355/.421 line with 17 extra-base hits and seven stolen bases in 47 games. Roly deArmas was also named GCL Manager of the Year for his work with the Phillies.
The Blue Jays contingent is highlighted by No. 12 prospect and 2016 second-round pick Bo Bichette. The 18-year-old was named top shortstop despite playing only 22 games because he hit .427 with four homers, two triples, nine doubles and 36 RBIs. He was joined by first baseman David Jacob (.304/.392/.472, six homers, nine doubles in 46 games) and reliever Jared Carkuff (seven saves, 1.42 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 35 strikeouts, three walks in 25 1/3 innings) on the All-Star team.
Here is the complete list of Gulf Coast League end-of-season All-Stars:
2016 Gulf Coast League end-of-season All-Star Team
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.