The Chicago Cubs have major question marks going into the 2010 MLB schedule. One of the biggest is which Geovany Soto will Cubs fans see day in and day out in 2010?
Look at the drastic differences in numbers between 2008 and 2009:
2008 – 141 games, 494 at-bats, .285 batting average, .364 on-base percentage, 23 HR’s, 86 RBI’s 66 runs scored. Soto was the starting Catcher for the National League in the 2008 All-Star Game and he was named the National League Rookie of the Year.
2009 – 102 games, 331 at-bats, .218 batting average, .321 on-base percentage, 11 HR’s, 47 RBI’s 27 runs scored.
The positive drug testing at the World Baseball Classic in March 2009 and being out-of-shape in spring training supposedly led to injuries that he could not overcome during the season. Soto did lower his strike out numbers from 121 in 2008 to only 77 in 2009, but he has to show that he will be durable in 2009 if the Cubs can consider him a long-term solution behind the plate.
Word out of Puerto Rico is that Soto’s workouts are going great. Hopefully Soto realized what a complete failure he was in 2009 and he will dedicate this off-season to returning to the upper echelon of catchers in the National League in 2010. It will be nice to see Soto show up in solid shape in February in Arizona and have him be better prepared to lead this Cubs pitching staff through the long MLB season. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anymore updates on Soto over the next few weeks…