2012 Outlook: Why Geovany Soto Should Not Be Drafted As A Starting Catcher

Geovany Soto exploded onto the scene in 2008, hitting .285 with 23 HR and 86 RBI.  Since then?  Fantasy owners have treated him like a viable option in all formats and all he has done is disappoint for three straight years. 

His 2011 campaign could be the worst of the bunch, as you can see by looking at the numbers:

421 At Bats
.228 Batting Average (96 Hits)
17 Home Runs
54 RBI
46 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.310 On Base Percentage
.411 Slugging Percentage
.280 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Maybe he was pressing to try and prove his value, but the biggest issue was an increased strikeout rate.  Last season he posted a 26.2% mark.  Over his first three full seasons he was at 21.5%, 19.8% and 21.4%, so it is a clear indication of why his average was so poor. 

Can he rebound and start making contact once again?  Sure, it’s possible, but the fact that he only had two months in 2011 that were below 28% (14.0% in April and 20.0% in September) has to cause serious concern.  Maybe a change of leadership will help, but it’s hard to consider that a given.

He has shown the potential to hit for a much better BABIP, with two years of .324 or better.  Then again, he also has posted a full season with a .246 mark.  In other words, going in expecting a .280ish mark is probably a good idea. 

While the 17 HR are nice, it’s not a number that significantly distances himself from the rest of the pack.  In 2011 there were 14 catchers who hit at least 15 home runs, and that doesn’t include Victor Martinez or Buster Posey.  Throw in the potential of youngsters like Jesus Montero and Devin Mesoraco and the power is nothing to get excited about.

We’d also like to think that he has the potential to drive in a significant number of runs, but since 2008 he hasn’t shown it.  While he has been given some chances in the middle of the lineup, he spent the majority of his time hitting eighth in 2011 (175 AB).  Again, that’s something that could change given the change in leadership, but it’s more going to take actual production from Soto.

Just look at his recent production with runners in scoring position:

  • 2009 – .224, 1 HR, 34 RBI in 98 AB
  • 2010 – .280, 3 HR, 33 RBI in 75 AB
  • 2011 – .202, 1 HR, 32 RBI in 114 AB

So, over the past three seasons he has a grand total of 5 HR with a man on base.  It’s extremely hard to be productive when you do that, isn’t it?

The question fantasy owners face is where we go from here.  The average has the potential to be pretty good, but also has the potential to be an absolute bust.  The power doesn’t separate him from the field.  His ability to drive in runs is in question.

The result is that he no longer should be drafted as a starting option outside of two-catcher formats.  Does he have the upside?  Absolutely, but he’s a depth option and nothing more.

What do you think?  Do you still consider Soto a viable option?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out all of our preliminary 2012 rankings:

Prospect Report: Will Brad Peacock Be The Next Young Stud For Washington?
Post Hype Sleeper: Can Cliff Pennington Realize His Potential In 2012?

One comment

  1. big o says:

    maybe ganjavany just has trouble concentrating .
    i’m gonna puff, puff, pass on this guy .

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