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October 1, 2019

Juan Soto

Washington, DC - pregame

Q. Juan, in your mind what are the biggest reasons that this team got here after the way you started through the late part of May?
JUAN SOTO: For me, it was the energy, the energy we have after a couple players get here. And we never give up, and we just started to stay together. I think that's the key for everything. Just be focused, try to play good baseball, and don't think nothing else, just have fun.

Q. This will be your first playoff game. How are you feeling, and have you been given any advice about what it's going to be like?
JUAN SOTO: I feel amazing. I feel really happy, first time being here. I can't wait to see the crowd, how it's going to be today, and they're going to be cheering and all this stuff. I'm going to be really excited. I like those kind of games like that, when all the crowd, the team, everybody is working hard and proud of themselves. It's going to be fun.

Q. Juan, the Brewers match up a lot out of their bullpen. Have you changed anything, I guess, about how you're preparing? Are you expecting to face lefties later or anything like that?
JUAN SOTO: We was talking about yesterday, they have a couple lefties in the pen, so maybe they're going to try to bring in the lefty for me or Ethan. I don't know, but I'm just going to try to stay focused and try to keep working how I've been working with every lefty in the year, and just one more game.

Q. Are you thinking about the stakes of this being sort of a one-game playoff, or are you trying to push that out of your brain? Are you letting that get to you or are you letting it hype you up?
JUAN SOTO: For me, everything got to start today, so it's the first game that we're going to play here. I'm just focused on this game. I just want to win this one, and then let's see how it's going to be the next couple.

For me, I'm thinking just in this one right now. Right now all my focus, all my energy is in this game, try to come out to the field and give everything I have. Don't try to do more than I can, but try to give everything I have.

Q. Juan, after your rookie season last year and all the accolades, what enabled you, do you think, to just turn around and pick up where you left off last year and not have the, quote-unquote, sophomore jinx?
JUAN SOTO: For me, just try to forget everything and come with the next year as a new year. Just try to play the same baseball I've been playing, have fun, enjoy it, don't matter what they say. They've told me all this stuff, oh, the players, the second year is the bad one. But I just tried not to think about that and tried to help my team as much as I can, try to make the plays and all this stuff. That's it.

Q. Very few players in baseball history have done what you've done by age 20. Some pretty remarkable names. Have you ever kind of stopped to consider your place in that history, and how have you been able to accomplish so much at such a young age?
JUAN SOTO: I mean, I just see all this stuff because they send it to me and they're showing me. I feel really happy because all the work I did in the offseason is coming out. It's getting paid back. I feel really happy and feel really proud of myself. But it's not over yet. We've got to keep working. We've got a long way to go. This is just a start.

Q. Juan, what part of your defensive game do you feel like you've improved the most on from the beginning of the season? And also how much do you feel like the chemistry between you and Victor commanding center field has improved from the beginning of the year?
JUAN SOTO: For me, I think I've been working a lot on my first hard step and all this stuff, and my defense is throwing and like to get more chances to get to the ball. Got more room to go, like more -- more range. So now I can get better in the left field. I feel more comfortable because I just started playing left field last year, and in the minors, I always played right field. But now I'm getting really comfortable in the left field and throwing and all this stuff. And, Gerardo Parra, when he get here, he helped me a lot with my throws and all this stuff, how to stay to throw low and get a little bit more back spin on the throws. I think just working a lot, that helped me, everything.

Q. This is your first full season in the Big Leagues, 150 games. What's it been like going through that entire process of the grind of a full season? Is there anything that surprised you about making it through a full season?
JUAN SOTO: For me, I play -- that's our goal is play the most games you can. Last year my goal was play 130 games, and we made it. This year, my mind was set to play 162. So I just come into the season to try to play the most games I can and try to be focused and be strong the whole season, try to -- don't waste too much energy outside of the field and be focused on this.

Q. The farm director told me when you were in the minors, your English improved tremendously. 18 months ago you were playing single A. Your hitting has gotten better, your English has gotten better. Why do you think that is, and are there any favorite shows you watch to try to help your English?
JUAN SOTO: I'll tell you, talking with you guys helped my English a lot. I've just been working on it since the first day. I've been working really hard and just talked -- like I said, just talking with the people, talking outside of the field, talking with the fans, with the media, with everybody. I think that made me get more comfortable with my English and just speak it a little bit better.

Q. From the time you woke up today, is there anything you've done differently because it's a playoff game, whether that's like managing your stress or your baseball preparation or breakfast, whatever it is?
JUAN SOTO: I think everything was kind of the same. I think just the difference, eat the food from my mom. She's here, she just made something for me before the game, and I think that's the only thing different I made. I just prayed and get here, and now we're getting ready for the game.

Q. How important -- they talk about May 24th as the spark of the team, turning it around. How important was that spark to have a little bit of that Latin flavor with her Gerardo, Asdrubal later on and Anibal, how important was that for you to be more relaxed?
JUAN SOTO: I mean, for me it's really important, like the energy they bring to the team is how everything changed. Since Parra get here and Asdrubal, all these guys, and Anibal, they bring really, really good energy. They don't care about anything, like, if we lose or we're doing bad. They just try to have fun every time. They don't worry if they're 0 for 4 or they have a bad day on the mound. They just try to bring the good energy and help their teammates. They're really good. I think those guys are really important for the team right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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