Juan Soto wishes opposing pitchers ‘good luck’ when facing Padres’ lineup in introductory press conference ahead of debut

Get ready for the fireworks.

The Padres made move after move during Wednesday’s trade deadline, acquiring a bevy of All-Star level talent, including 23-year old hitting sensation Juan Soto.

The Friars introduced two of their newcomers — Soto and 1B Josh Bell — on Wednesday. And as he has done time and time again during his big-league career, Soto stole the show.

Discussing his hopes and dreams with his new franchise, the 2021 NL MVP runner-up sent condolences to major-league pitching.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” Soto said.

It’s going to be really tough to go through. I wish good luck to the other pitchers.

He’s not wrong, mind you. Soto, Tatis, Machado, Bell, Cronenworth, Drury? That’s a modern-day Murderer’s Row.

MORE: Padres lineup analysis

Three of those players were All-Stars this year. If he was healthy, it would be hard to imagine Tatis not making it, either. As for Bell and Drury? Well, they have a 153 and 126 OPS+, respectively, elite numbers for guys who now are considered the fourth, fifth or sixth best bat on the team.

Soto and Bell are poised to feature in the Padres’ lineup on Wednesday when San Diego faces Colorado. Soto will slot in the second spot on the lineup card, while Bell will bat clean up.

“It’s awesome to be able to be traded and share a flight with somebody that you played with for a few years,” Bell said. “I’m pumped to be here with Juan.”

The Friars’ deadline antics, coupled with Tatis inching closer to recovery from a broken wrist, mean the batting lineup now looks as fearsome as ever. Prior to Wednesday’s moves, Padres right fielders slashed .233/.286/.323 in 378 at-bats. San Diego’s first base play at the plate wasn’t much better, posting a .266/.339/.406 slash.

The new additions should make a world of difference. And for Soto, the move is a reset. From the weather to the place his team sits in the standings, Soto seems to feel at home.

That’s a scary sight for opposing pitchers.

“It feels really nice,” Soto said. “It feels really proud to be here. Just to go from a team that has no chance to come all the way here, it’s just a great feeling. It’s a new vibe. It’s a new start for me.”

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