Fans will love MLB insider comparing Juan Soto to ideal former Yankees

Two great guys we'd love to have back -- and kind of do now!
New York Yankees v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The New York Yankees, buoyed by an opening four-game sweep of their arch rival (sorry, Boston) Houston Astros, look like an all-new team in 2024, even though only a few parts have been swapped out.

Luckily, those "few parts" have all been significant attitude-changers, from the flamboyant Marcus Stroman to the dawg-barking Alex Verdugo to Juan Soto, the patron saint of patience.

Soto, an annual All-Star and someone who's building one of the best 25-year-old Hall of Fame cases in the game's history, somehow became underrated this season after the Yankees acquired him. Baseball is, of course, not a sport where one man is often able to pull a team up by their collective bootstraps to meet his heightened expectations. Soto isn't just a lefty slugger, though. He's a revolution.

So far, combined with the efforts of new hitting coach James Rowson, Soto has completely altered the dynamic of the Yankees' lineup like the pied piper, begging teammates to follow his lead with his exaggerated actions. He takes walks and attacks strikes on all quadrants of the plate. It's what he does, and suddenly, it's what Oswaldo Cabrera, Anthony Volpe and Austin Wells do, too.

This all reminded MLB Network's Joel Sherman of the early '90s Yankees turning free-swinging All-Star Roberto Kelly into Paul O'Neill, and signing a late-career Wade Boggs, the ultimate strike zone maestro in his own right. Quickly, Gene Michael's Yankees got back to grinding pitchers down, something Soto's group is doing spectacularly, too.

Juan Soto has changed Yankees lineup like Paul O'Neill, Wade Boggs did

Just wait until Aaron Judge joins the fun.

The only downside here? To be a part of a 1993-esque revolution, it means you have to have sunk as low as the 1992 Yankees did offensively. Unfortunately, 2023's moribund team was very much in that bucket, and was desperately in need of a hero. Enter Soto (and James Rowson) preaching patience and communicating it effectively.

The Yankees have a long way to go to reach their desired finish line. Even in this O'Neill/Boggs analogy, it took them three years to reach and win the World Series (though the 1994 strike might've gotten in the way of a lot of things). Soto's fitting in like a glove, and might be here for a long time after all, but nothing is guaranteed.

That means his Yankees have a lot to accomplish in a short time frame, and displaying such advanced skill one week into the season bodes very well for accelerating this aggressive (and strangely familiar) timeline.