Juan Soto has had one of the best starts to a career we’ve ever seen. He’s yet to play a regular-season game as a 22-year-old and is already on lists with all-time greats that foreshadow his Hall of Fame potential. In other words, nobody’s ever gotten off to a start like this and not put together a Cooperstown-worthy career.
Dan Szymborski ran ZiPS projections for Soto through his age-36 season, which is 2035, for Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs recently. The numbers are truly a sight to behold.
Through his age-36 season, Soto is projected for the following career totals:
.298/.428/.593 slash line
With these projected stats, Soto’s .428 career on-base percentage would be tied for 10th based on today’s numbers (min. 3,000 plate appearances), with Jimmie Foxx and Tris Speaker. The six modern players ahead of Soto, Foxx and Speaker are Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb.
Soto’s projected .593 career slugging percentage would rank seventh all-time (min. 3,000 PA), behind some monstrous bats. The only players to top .593 are Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Foxx, Bonds and Hank Greenberg.
Soto’s projected 562 homeruns, which would rank 15th on the current list, one shy of tying Reggie Jackson for 14th. That total includes six straight 40-homer seasons from 2022-27. The only players with at least six straight 40-homer seasons in their careers are Ruth, Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez.
Juan Soto is projected to have 1,762 career walks through the end of 2035, which would rank seventh all-time. The only players with more walks in their careers are Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Ruth, Williams, Joe Morgan and Carl Yastrzemski.
Projections are great, but Juan Soto still has to put up the actual performances, of course. That still remains to be seen, but given the company he’s in to start his career, the names he’s predicted to join make a lot of sense.