Spotlight on Geovany Soto – Soto was selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2001 draft. It was a draft that the Cubs seem to have had a good deal of success from in terms of identifying talent. In that draft, the Cubs selected Mark Prior, Andy Sisco, Ryan Theriot, Ricky Nolasco, Brendan Harris, Sergio Mitre, Khalil Greene, and Soto. Since being selected, Soto has spent the majority of his time as a catching prospect, with limited time at first base. After being drafted, Soto spent 2001 and most of 2002 with the Arizona Cubs in rookie ball, where he was an average hitter, yet nothing to write home about. He was promoted in 2003 to High A Daytona in 2003 and hit just .242 in 89 games. That got him a promotion the following year to AA West Tenn, where he improved significantly, hitting .271 and getting on base at a .350+ clip. In 2005, Soto was promoted to AAA Iowa and even saw some a game with the ML team in late September. 2006 saw a return to AAA as has 2007.
Soto is considered one of the only catching prospects in our system with a chance to sniff out ML playing time. He has played well in AAA this season and some question why he has not been recalled to replace either Rob Bowen or Koyie Hill. The main reason for this appears to be the fact that both Bowen and Hill are out of options and would need to clear waivers to be able to be optioned to AAA. He was also invited to play for the world team in the MLB futures game, which is essentially a showcase of prospects. John Sickels of Minorleagueball.com had the following to say about Soto in his prospect books released at the beginning of the 2006 and 2007 seasons:
2007 – With two seasons in Triple-A under his belt, it’s now clear what kind of skills Geovany Soto brings to the game. He has a strong arm and has developed into a solid defensive catcher. He has a line drive swing, a touch of gap power, and good strike zone judgement. But his level swing will not produce many home runs, and he won’t hit enough to force his way into a regular job. I wouldn’t mind giving him a shot as a reserve catcher; his defense is good enough, and his bat isn’t completely useless due to his patience. Grace – C
2006 – Geovany Soto is an interesting player to watch. He LOOKS like he should hit for power, being a rather squat, muscular guy. He works the count well and does not swing at very many bad pitches. But he has a very level swing, not lofting the ball for power, hitting lots of low line drives. Given his extreme lack of speed, he hits into a lots of double play, and unless he retools his swing dramatically, he won’t hit many homers. Soto does a good job with the glove, being surprisingly mobile for his size..not that running speed and defensive mobility are not the same thing for a catcher. He has a good arm and seems to handle the pitching staff well. All in all, he’d make a useful backup catcher for the right team. Grace – C
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