Your 2011 Draft Day Steal Is…

No fake. I'm still good.

Geovany Soto, says I. Well, technically he might not be considered a steal based on where he could be drafted but just hear me out.

Soto criminally disappointed in 2009 following his very useful ROY campaign in 2008. He was considered by many to be a good bounce-back candidate going into this season but injuries and a low octane Cubs offense have really pushed Soto into the background. And with Carlos Santana cranking out hits (double entendre intended) earlier this year the Geo Metro’s name just isn’t buzzing anymore.

But you’d be a fool to completely ignore what Soto has been doing this season. His final counting stats will be far from eye popping but that can be contributed to his lost time due to injuries. Let’s extrapolate what Soto’s stats may look like if he were to pile up an average number of ABs for a catcher. That excludes Pudge’s 1990s seasons with the Rangers:

2010 statistics over 500 ABs – 28 HR, 78 R, 85 RBI

So after doing an extremely scientific study using the calculator included in Windows Vista you can see what Geovany Soto’s 2010 could have been. Those numbers are pretty useful coming from a catcher.But here’s the stat that should get you excited about Soto going forward; 54/68 BB/K ratio.

Soto is walking more and striking out less. I know batting in front of Mike Fontenot for most of the year doesn’t exactly scare opposing pitchers into throwing you strikes, but Soto is slugging at the highest rate of his career also. So even if he’s seeing less strikes he’s doing more with the strikes he does get. Basically it appears that Geovany Soto has become a better hitter. His OPS currently sits at a Billy-Beane-Boner-Inducing .913. That’s good enough for tops among all starting catchers. Better than Joe Mauer, Brian McCann and Victor Martinez.

The Cubs are sure to be below .500 in 2011 but that doesn’t mean Soto can’t help you in the fantasy game.

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