Juan Soto bringing his ‘electric’ Yankees start to The Bronx

It will take more than just a hero’s welcome in The Bronx to get Juan Soto to stick around beyond this year. 

And even if capacity crowds at Yankee Stadium were to pass the hat for 81 games, they still may not find enough money to sign Soto to an extension, unless that hat made its way through the owner’s box.

But however long the relationship lasts, The Bronx will get its first chance to see Soto wearing regular-season pinstripes on Friday afternoon in the Yankees’ home opener against the Blue Jays.

Juan Soto will be in Yankees pinstripes on Friday for the home opener. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

And given how Soto’s first week as a Yankee went, it may be more “electric” than even he envisioned this spring.

“Buzzy. Buzzy. Buzz-worthy,” manager Aaron Boone said of what he expected Soto’s home debut to be like.

With the Yankees coming off an impressive 6-1 road trip against the Astros and Diamondbacks to start the season, the welcome will be much warmer than the forecasted temperature.

“I think it’s going to be rocking,” Aaron Judge said. “I think it’s going to be rocking. I think the guys are going to be excited. We got a division rival coming in with the Blue Jays, so I think the boys are going to be ready to go.”

Soto said this spring that playing in The Bronx was going to “feel like home,” given the fan base’s strong Latin community.

Soto makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by Alex Bregman during the 7th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Then the superstar right fielder went out and had a game-winning or game-saving play in each of the Yankees’ first four games of the season as they swept the Astros.

Overall in seven games, Soto hit .345 with a .924 OPS and terrific defense.

The way he makes every trip to the plate feel like a heavyweight fight has rubbed off on the rest of the lineup, consistently working tough and disciplined at-bats through the first week of games.

Soto slides into second base on his double during the 8th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“He’s gonna be one of those guys I’m talking about when I’m a granddad, that I got to play with him,” said Marcus Stroman, who will start Friday’s home opener.

“So you just want to be very conscious of that. He’s a generational talent. The way he approaches the game, the way he never gives away an at-bat, it’s incredible. I feel like he never even gives away a pitch.”

Soto got a trial run of sorts for his Yankee Stadium debut earlier this week at Chase Field, when a crowd heavy on Yankees fans did a roll call in the first inning.

Soto seemed to be prepared, raising his arms toward the fans in right field.

That, among other things, will be taken to another level on Friday when it’s the full home crowd chanting his name.

Alex Verdugo, Aaron Judge and Juan Soto celebrate after the final out of the 9th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

While Soto hits just about everywhere, he has done especially well in a short sample size playing at Yankee Stadium as a visitor.

In seven career games there, the 25-year-old has posted a 1.219 OPS and crushed four home runs.

Now, he will get a bigger taste of batting there regularly with the crowd ready to embrace him as one of its own.

Back in the first days of camp, Judge was asked if he would be doing any convincing for why Soto would like staying in New York long term.

The Yankees captain grinned, and didn’t need to look at a calendar to offer his response.

“Yeah, but I think the fans are going to show up April 5 and do a lot of convincing, too,” Judge said. “I think we’ll be good.”


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