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October 9, 2019

Juan Soto

Los Angeles, California - pregame 5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How your life has changed in the last year and a half coming up to the big leagues, doing what you've done, and now being in a Game 5 of the playoffs.
JUAN SOTO: I mean, it's amazing. Everything changed, everything, my family, the fans and all the stuff, it's crazy and everything like that. But for me I think it's amazing. And the teams we had this year and last year, just blessed, I feel blessed.

Q. Do you think it matters at all that you guys have already won two elimination games? Does that make any difference coming into tonight?
JUAN SOTO: I think it's going to help us because it's a lot of pressure, so we just saw a couple days before that we played that, we know how to control everything, be patient, and play the game in the right way.

Q. Have you had any moments, this being your first playoff games, has there been any time that you've kind of stopped and reflected, looked at the crowd or just, like, to take in everything and say wow or anything like that? Have you had any moments like that?
JUAN SOTO: For me it's every day I come to the field, every day I see the crowd I'm like, that's amazing. You can play the whole year in the big leagues and it's never going to be the same. When you see that crowd like that and enjoy it and cheering for you and all this stuff, for me it's amazing every day.

Q. What you do after you take a pitch, what are you trying to convey, is that something for you and how did that start?
JUAN SOTO: That started in the minor leagues. I like to get in the minds of the pitchers because sometimes they get scared. In the minor leagues some pitchers get scared, they say, oh, wow, because they never see that before. I just try to get on their minds and all this stuff.

I still do it here in the big leagues. A couple of the guys tell me, hey, you can keep doing it, but do it in the right situation and that's what I'm trying right now. Because in those tight moments everybody's paying attention, everybody wants to get the job done and if you get a little bit of that and get a little bit comfortable with that, and confidence to get the job done, you get one step in front.

Q. So it feeds your confidence as well.
JUAN SOTO: Yeah, it fuels my confidence. It just me getting more confidence at the plate.

Q. You faced Adam Kolarek four times now, the lefty in their bullpen. What are you seeing when you look back at those at-bats and what do you maybe want to change in them?
JUAN SOTO: I faced him three times for now. The first time they just told me, hey, he got big sinker, you see the ball and all this stuff. But when I go, I just swing at the ball. I never know it's going to be that big sinker. And then I just tried to see it and watch the ball, all the movement and all the stuff and just look for one pitch, try to make him throw the ball high. But it's really tough because it's a really big sinker, side arm and lefty, it's a little bit tough, but we're getting there.

Q. A lot of people have kind of talked about how amazing it is that you're able to stay so calm in the big situations. I'm wondering what goes through your mind when you're in a big spot stepping into the batters box, is there something that you tell yourself every time, how are you able to kind of stay so calm?
JUAN SOTO: For me I just think it's a fight, just the pitcher and me. I forget about everybody that's around me. I just think of the pitcher and me and look for one pitch and get my confidence like I've been doing all this stuff and try to enjoy the moment, I think that's the key.

Q. Seems like many scouts that I've spoken to have said that you are the best bat on ball guy in the big leagues right now. I'm curious how that's come to be. What do you attribute that to, that skill?
JUAN SOTO: For me it's been since my first year in the minor leagues. I used to swing at everything, whatever the ball comes and if I see it good, I just swing at it. But then my coaches start telling me, hey, you got to look for one pitch, just try to look for one pitch and stay in the zone until you have two strikes. It don't matter if they call you, then they call you three times to strike you out. So just wait for the pitch and stay in the zone, try to don't chase the ball out and stuff. And that's how everything started, just started looking for one pitch, where what I think that they're going to throw me and stay there. It don't matter if they throw me curveballs and other stuff, I take them until two strikes. And then two strikes you got to make it a little bigger and try to fight.

Q. Justin Turner and Dave Roberts were in here earlier. They said the mood in the clubhouse, guys were yelling at each other, they were loose, Turner said they were watching men's gymnastics on TV. It's an elimination game, I'm just wondering what the mood has been like in the visitors clubhouse down the hall.
JUAN SOTO: For us it's the same thing. We just forget about it, we're watching the games and all this stuff. We're just talking around and don't worry about much, we're just enjoying it, we just think like it's another game, it's another game to play, try to enjoy it the most we can, play hard, do our jobs and forget about what's going to happen. In the final, the best team is going to win. But we are just relaxed. We just relax in the clubhouse and enjoy it. You don't know when you're going to be here again, so we're just enjoying the moment right now.

Q. If I can go back to your routine after you take a pitch, what has been the funniest or weirdest reaction maybe minor leagues, Major Leagues, whatever, to that? Has a pitcher ever reacted to that or other guys?
JUAN SOTO: It was last year. Last year, I did against Sánchez and when I did it against him, he just started laughing on the mound. I mean, I start laughing too. He just started laughing and he couldn't stop, he just kept going. He saw me and he just took that thing in the right way. And that was one of the pitchers that I never get a hit against him, because he just stayed relaxed and he just enjoyed it. He likes when I do this, so I start, I just stopped doing it against him (smiling) but he keeps going and he just started laughing at it. And when he don't pitch he just saw me in the dugout and he just started doing it to me, and I'm like, that was, that was the best reaction that I have received.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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