Geovany Soto: the Cubs' Bronx Bomber
In Friday's New York Times, Alan Schwarz profiled Geo
Soto, and we learn that despite being born in Puerto Rico and attending
high school there, Soto played his first "significant game" in New
York. The Cub catcher lived with his family in the Bronx from the time
he was four until age eight.
Soto remembers it very clearly. It might have been just
below the reservoir. Or maybe down near that ice rink. But it was
definitely in Manhattan's Central Park.
"It was awesome," said Soto... "You go with your dad to
the practice field, but never in my life I'd ever put a uniform on and
played with other kids. I felt like, 'Wow, it's really happening—I'm
going to play baseball.'"
Schwarz also writes about Soto's rapport with the Cubs pitching staff.
In part of because of his excellent English, Soto handled
the veteran pitching staff with such aplomb that many Cubs considered
him the team's backbone and most valuable player—despite the presence
of established stars like Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso
Soriano. Soto knew when to talk and when not to.
Regarding Soto's hitting prowess, Schwarz mentions
Soto's significant weight loss leading up to his monster offensive season at Iowa
(.353-26-109) in 2007.
[Soto's weight] ballooned to as much as 250 pounds. It was only after losing weight that he began to emerge...
"Nobody was high on him after 2006, myself included,"
said Gary Hughes, a special assistant to the Cubs' general manager, Jim
Hendry. "But there was a different Geovany Soto out there."
The new Soto had more flexibility through his midsection,
allowing him to turn on pitches, and the stamina to keep calling them
deep into games and seasons.
Soto is hardly the first player to see a correlation
between his weight and his baseball numbers. Still, with all the stats
sites and baseball reference books out there, I can't ever recall
seeing one that tracked changes in a player's weight from season to
season. Maybe it's not possible to get legitimate numbers anyway: teams
in all sports are notorious for fudging those figures to effect.
(Basketball teams, of course, are also known to misstate their players'
But if it was possible to gather this data, I think we
would be able to establish some interesting connections between
particular players and particular performance levels.
Hagsag 2 hours 21 min ago (view)
It is hard to blieve that Corey Black is still around. Why?
Arizona Phil 10 hours 54 sec ago (view)
Remember, the Cubs have until 5 PM (Eastern) on - SUNDAY - to decide whether to add any of the 25 minor leaguers who are eligible to be Rule 55 minor league second contract free-agents or 6YFA to the MLB 40-man roster, sign the player to a 2021 minor league successor contract, or allow the player to walk. (Some -- perhaps even most -- of the 25 have no doubt already signed successor contracts - TBD).
Arizona Phil 11 hours 11 min ago (view)
The Cubs have claimed 2B-3B-LF Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Loius Cardinals, and LHRP Rex Brothers has been sent outright to AAA Iowa.
If Brothers doesn't elect free-agency immediately, he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on Sunday at 5 PM Eastern, unless he agrees to sign a 2021 minor league successor contract).
Brothers is out of minor league options and he is arbitation-eligible post-2020, so he was likely to be non-tendered on 12/2 anyway.
Arizona Phil 11 hours 53 min ago (view)
K-DUB: It's pronounced "MAH - day"
crunch 13 hours 22 min ago (view)
"Jon Lester said in an interview on SiriusXM Friday that he's had conversations with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein "about getting something done, coming back and being a part of the organization." "
ummm...how about no? i mean, thanks for those 3 good seasons in your first 4 years as a cub...but after those last 2...yeah...no.
also, the cubs claimed 2nd/3rd max schrock off waivers from STL (no power, bit of speed, slow to react in the IF even though the glove isn't bad). meh.
K Dub 13 hours 30 min ago (view)
Cubs had a prospect named Jose Made (also Dominican) between 2007-2009. I believe his name was pronounced like the verb "made".
tim815 14 hours 44 min ago (view)
I lean two syllables.
He was Dominican-born, so Mah-day would have made sense, but that's a good Q.
K Dub 22 hours 59 min ago (view)
PHIL: How is Kevin Made's last name pronounced? Is it mah-day? Or like it's spelled - made? Thanks!
Cubster 23 hours 24 min ago (view)
Brewers decline Ryan Braun's option. Any predictions as to where he goes?
crunch 23 hours 52 min ago (view)
KBO (korea) ends their season tomorrow.
a.russell started off hot, but severely cooled off to a .253/.317/.336 slash (not counting today's game). if he comes back to the US (and finds a team that wants to sign him), it should be rather cheap.
Hagsag 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Around the corner or in the ditch?
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
my dream of seeing s.castro end his career with 3000+ hits and a WAR in the mid-30s, making HOF voters sweat, came to an end this year with the shortened season followed by the early injury. he came into the year as a just-turned 30 year old (march 24) with 1617 hits.
George Altman 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
Jerry Reinsdorf is reasons 1 thru 100 why I could never root for the White Sox and have hated the Bulls since 1999.
Sonicwind75 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
Feels like Ricky and Starlin Castro should form a support group. Everytime your rebuilding team is about to turn the corner and you're gone.
Cubster 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
76 yr old Tony LaRussa to manage the W/Sox. Reinsdorf decision over objections.
Poor Rick Renteria. History repeats itself, NOPE. This won't end well (except for bring your dog day).
Cubster 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
but, but, but we're rounding the corner. The vaccine is warming up in the bullpen. Tucker's missing email package from Rudy is just lost in the mail. There are no pee-pee tapes. Corona, corona, corona. I like beer. ...and the DeutchBank will just forgive billions of MLB owner's debt if they ask nicely. How are the Russian minor leagues looking this year Phil?