When the Devil Rays and Diamondbacks became actual MLB teams in the summer of 1998, Nationals rookie outfielder Juan Soto wasn't yet alive. If you want to feel even older, Soto was born the same year Google was started. He's young, and after tearing up minor league pitching this season he became the youngest player in Major League Baseball today.
It's the continuation of a ridiculous six week stretch for Soto, who began the 2018 season as MLB Pipeline's 15th best prospect. He started the year in Single-A and has already been promoted three times now. His minor league numbers this season (.362 average with 14 HR and 52 RBI in 39 games) are outstanding, and the scouting report on him is promising. The lefty hitting Soto stays back in his stance and hits line drives/fly balls to the gaps. He figures to begin his big league career as a doubles hitter with the potential to become a power bat who also hits for average and gets on base. A .300/.400/.500 slash line with 30 homers type hitter.
The only reason most people may not have heard about Soto was that at 19 years old he wasn't expected to debut this soon (plus he's been overshadowed a bit by Vladdy Jr.) The last Nationals outfielder who made it to the majors as a teenager was Bryce Harper, who had 536 plate appearances in the minors before debuting. Soto only had 512 before today.
So why are the Nats calling him up? Well the team just got swept by the Dodgers this weekend, and at 24-21 they're in fourth place in the surprisingly competitive NL East. It's no secret Harper could leave after this year. He's never won a playoff series in Washington and there are surely going to be some big time offers waiting for him in free agency. There's pressure for the Nationals to win now. Soto hasn't had a lot of experience as a professional, but he's one of their best hitters. That's enough to get him to the bigs in this pivotal year for the franchise.