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1/20/1983 (34 y, 1 m, 2 d)
2001 June Amateur Draft - Round: 11, Pick: 2, Overall: 318, Team: Chicago Cubs
$0.2M / 1 Years (2017)
Soto (knee) caught a bullpen session Monday, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports. (2/20/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The 2008 National League Rookie of the Year suffered a fall from grace that wasn’t entirely his fault in 2009. His wOBA dropped from .371 to .310 and his ISO from .219 to .163, but his walk rate actually rose and his strikeout rate dipped. What caused all of this shifting? Two things. One: a BABIP drop from .337 to .251. And two: a home run per fly ball drop. Part of this is obviously regression and the other part is that he’s likely not a .371 wOBA hitter. The good news is, the answer is somewhere in between.
The Year Ahead:
That means expect some bounceback. Soto only hit 11 homers after blasting 23 in 2008; plan on more than a dozen in 2010, and he’ll probably top 47 RBI by the All-Star break. Ultimately, it depends on how much playing time Lou Piniella decides to give back-up Koyie Hill in 2010. Soto should break 400 appearances next year, but everyone is well aware of how big Lou’s doghouse really is. Regardless, if the rest of your league is scared off by one bad year, feel free to leap on Soto and ride his upside. Rumors persist that Soto has dropped a significant amount of weight during the offseason. (R.J. Anderson)
Geovany Soto reached back to his power potential by hitting 17 home runs in only 387 at-bats in 2010, an improvement from 2009 partly due to the increase in BABIP from .246 to .324. His walk rate has increased every year since being 2008 NL Rookie of the Year, reaching a 16% walk rate in 2010. This led to a .393 OBP, bringing Soto back to a top-six or -eight catcher. Soto shouldn’t have a problem battling Koyie Hill for playing time anymore, and fantasy owners should be happy to know that his shoulder surgery back in late September means he will be ready by spring training. Young players such as Buster Posey and Carlos Santana are premium catchers, so if other owners are bidding high for catchers, Soto could be a bargain. If Soto can avoid another injury-filled season, If Soto plays everyday, he should collect 20 HRs, 75 RBIs, and a batting line of .270/.370/.480. (Albert Lyu)
The Quick Opinion:
Soto has improved his walk rate every year, but is still not a premium catcher given the rise of Posey and Santana. If Soto can stay healthy, he will be good for 20 HRs and 75 RBIs.
If you believe in "every other year"-itis, than Geovany Soto is a "sleeper" (another curious thing to believe in) for you, as he hit very well (especially for a catcher) in 2008 and 2010, but not so well (if still good for a catcher) in 2009 and 2011. Predictably, his true talent is likely somewhere in between. The patience still seems to be there in general, but the walk rate has gone down and the contact issues seem to be catching up with him. He will be 29 in January, so it is not as if he is a young player with tons of upside. However, the power is still there, and is rare among catchers. The Cubs are appear to be entering a full-scale rebuild with new management, so no player is safe from being traded. That is not necessarily bad, but that is something to keep in mind with a guy like Soto, especially for those in NL-only leagues. He's not going to help your batting average in leagues where that counts, but there are far worse fantasy picks than a catcher who can be expected to hit something like .240/.330/.420 with 15-20 home runs (and the added bonus of no credible threats to his playing time on the bench). (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Soto probably isn't the superstar he looked like at times in 2008 and 2010, but he's better than he showed in 2009 and 2011. Don't go crazy, but he'll give you power at the catcher position.
Geovany Soto went from being non-tendered by the Texas Rangers and looking for a gig only to be picked back up by Texas in a move that appeared to make him their regular starter in 2013. Who knows if Soto and company knew that Texas planned to make him their backup backstop as they signed A.J. Pierzynski just a few weeks later. It's not hard to see why Texas thought they might do a little better. Soto posted easily his worst offensive season in his career with a .198/.270/.343 line, which was actually better than he performed in his 47 games after being dealt to Texas. It's probably not likely that his batting average on balls in play will settle in at the .222 rate it was in 2012 as his career rate sits at .289, but he's also an aging catcher who is chasing more balls outside the zone, so something in the .275 range might be more reasonable. If that's the case, he might manage a batting average north of .235, but since he lacks in the way of playing time opportunity, he's not likely to contribute much to your counting stats. (
The Quick Opinion:
Soto returns to Texas but he will play second fiddle to A.J. Pierzynski which will severely impact his playing time. With some likely regression in his batted ball luck, you could expect Soto to hit something more respectable in the .235/.310/.410 range but with only 200 or so at bats, any hope for double digit home runs and enough RBI to make him worthwhile is likely gone.
After a bit of "every other year-itis" in Chicago, Soto's two poor seasons in a row in 2011 and 2012 (the latter of which included a trade to Texas mid-season) seemed to place him firmly as a backup catcher, a role he filled in Texas during 2013. Texas elected to let A.J. Pierzynski go to Boston, where he will undoubtedly be embraced by the Town That Brought Us the Dropkick Murphys. Rather than go out and look for another starter or a timeshare for Soto, Texas signed Toronto non-tender J.P. Arencibia, a player one would hope (for the sake of the Rangers and their fans) is not intended to be a regular. Soto was actually pretty good when he played in 2013. He hit .245/.328/.466, a good line for a catcher even with the most hitter-friendly home park in the American League. He only had 184 plate appearances, though. He walked at his highest rate since 2010, which was a good sign, but he also had the highest strikeout rate of his career. His home run power also returned. Soto would probably be better served as a platoon player, something he sort of did for Texas in 2013, but even with regression, he hits well enough to be a starting catcher in the majors -- something like .230/.310/.400 is fine these days from a catcher in real baseball. In fantasy leagues, it depends on the depth and settings of your league. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Soto is no longer the stud he seemed to be years ago for the Cubs, but he is slated to be the primary catcher for the Rangers, whose home park is very favorable. He is not a starter in all fantasy leagues, but he should be drafted in the deeper ones.
The 32-year-old featured prominently in the A's latest postseason collapse. An injury forced him to leave the Wild Card game, leading to seven stolen bases off Derek Norris. Soto is well into the backup stage of his career even though he's not yet over-the-hill. While he doesn't draw great grades for pitch framing, he is solid at controlling the running game. In his prime, he was a viable fantasy asset, but now he's a spot starter off the waiver wire at best -- even if there is the slightest possible open window (represented by Tyler Flowers) behind the plate in Chicago. With shaky plate discipline and inconsistent power, he's unlikely to help fantasy owners in any predictable way. (Brad Johnson)
The Quick Opinion:
Short of a miraculous resurgence, Soto is entering the twilight of his career. He's rarely able to achieve the right combination of strike zone discipline and power to be an asset at the plate.
It's been a weird, wild ride for Soto through 11 big league seasons. Starting with his rookie of the year 2008 and the ups and downs that have come since, it's never been conventional -- sort of like his throws back to the pitcher. Soto hit a weirdly passable .219/.301/.406 in 78 games for the White Sox in 2015, with a little bit of power and some walk tendencies that still showed he can do a little bit at the plate. But entering his age-33 season, the ceiling as a regular is remarkably low. He hasn't played 100 games since 2011. He's a placeholder for Carlos Perez with the Angels now, if not just his caddy. There's no fantasy value to be had here. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
There's nothing more than a name here. And even so, it's been a while since it mattered either. Look elsewhere.
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Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:35 AM ET
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