Juan Soto, MLB
Juan Soto has reached base in nine of his first 15 plate appearances as a Yankee VINCENT CARCHIETTA/USA TODAY SPORTS

SEATTLE - Playing for a team of the caliber of the New York Yankees always comes with extra pressure. But four games into his career with the Bronx Bombers, seems like Juan Soto is thriving under that pressure.

The Dominican was his team's hero over opening weekend, hitting .529 (9 for 17) with four RBIs and a homer during the Yankees sweep over the Houston Astros. Soto's performances at bat helped the Yankees to their first 4-0 start since 2003 and its fourth overall since 1950. "That's the kind of start I wanted," Soto said to the Associated Press. "I grinded really hard this offseason and in spring training to be successful in the beginning of the season."

Soto didn't wait to bring the fireworks, as he showcased his defensive qualities on the first game of the season, throwing out the potential tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve the Yankee's 5-4 victory over the Astros. On the second game of the season, he went 3-for-4, including a go-ahead walk with the based loaded in the seventh inning.

It only took the Dominican 11 plate appearances for him to hit the first homer of his career with the Yankees, hitting a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. He finished off the weekend with another powerful showing on the offensive side of the ball, going 3-for-5 including a winning run coming in the ninth inning.

Four games into the season, it looks like the Dominican will be an important piece for a team that missed the playoffs last season. The addition of Soto to a rotation that includes the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo makes the Bronx Bombers a dangerous matchup for any pitching crew.

Soto is projected to finish the season with similar numbers that saw him become an All-Star during his years with the Washington Nationals and his lone season with the San Diego Padres.

In a press conference after the third game of their four-game series against the Astros, team manager Aaron Boone was asked about Soto's impact and how important he's been for the team since signing from the Padres during the offseason. "He embodies what we want to be. It's a fight every time he walks into the batter's box," said Boone.

Juan Soto's first HR as a New York Yankee

According to BaseballReference's projections, if he continues like this, Soto is expected to clear the fences 28 times in 2024 and contribute with more than 80 RBIs. Last season, the Dominican averaged splits of .275/.410/.519 with 35 homers, which earned him a third All-Star appearance, the fourth Silver Slugger award of his career and even votes for the MVP award.

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