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OnBaseMachine
07-11-2008, 02:36 AM
Third baseman brings hot bat from Billings to Dayton

By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Friday, July 11, 2008

DAYTON Just three games into his stay with the Dayton Dragons, 19-year-old third baseman Neftali Soto was drawing high praise from his coaches.

"Soto made some other guys come alive," Dragons manager Donnie Scott said.

"He's the Jay Bruce of the Dayton Dragons," said hitting coach Darren Bragg.

"It's amazing how much difference one hitter will make in the lineup," Reds minor league pitching coordinator Mack Jenkins said.

"I just love to play baseball," said Soto.

When Soto arrived from Billings, the Dragons had lost 10 of their previous 14 games. They lost the night he arrived, too, despite his double, batting third in the order. They won the next two games and Soto entered the game Thursday, July 10, with a .417 batting average, three doubles and three RBIs.

"When you have a 3-hole hitter," Bragg said, "you're better. The first inning is not an easy inning (for the opposition). Even if you get the first two, the third guy is difficult.

"Soto has a plan. He doesn't go into the batting cage trying to hit the ball out. He goes to all fields. You aren't going to get anything out of 100 swings if your mind's not there. You get more out of five swings if your mind's there."

It was the intention of the Reds who drafted Soto in the supplemental third round last summer out of Puerto Rico to keep him at rookie Billings the rest of the summer.

However, third baseman Brandon Waring yet another high-profile prospect broke his thumb last week and the pared-down Reds system had to move Soto here.

That will make it interesting in a week or so when Waring returns to the lineup, although Soto played last season as a shortstop and Waring has been used at first base.

Multi-sports guy

In the offseason, outfielder Justin Reed helps his uncle train pacers in Jackson, Miss.

"My dad was working with horses before I could walk," Reed said. "I work with them because I love it. When it gets close to spring training, I stop training horses and go to the gym. Then I eat lunch and go hit."

Horse racing isn't Reed's only other sport. He was offered a football scholarship at Ole Miss to play defensive back. He turned it down for baseball. The Reds took him in the fourth round of the 2006 draft.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/dragons/2008/07/10/ddn071108spdragonsnotes.html

bellhead
07-11-2008, 10:20 AM
Sounds like Soto is going to make life difficult for Jockerty in Dayton. It's a good problem to have.

OnBaseMachine
07-11-2008, 12:58 PM
Soto needs to stay in Dayton all year IMO. Moving Waring to first base for now and let Soto play 3B.

ChatterRed
07-12-2008, 02:18 PM
I love this kid. I see him advancing through the minors quickly the next couple of seasons.

Steve4192
07-12-2008, 03:01 PM
Poor Brandon Waring.

It must suck to get Pipped when you are only 22 years old.

bellhead
07-12-2008, 03:52 PM
Last night was another good game for Soto he hit the ball hard 2 times and made contact the other two even though he was 0-4.

icehole3
07-12-2008, 04:14 PM
the ball shoots off his bat just like Bruce, he's Eric Davis quick with his swing.

11larkin11
07-12-2008, 04:34 PM
Heres a question. Right now the only 2B on Daytons roster are Jolbert Cabrera and Kevyn Feiner. Feiner is only hitting .224. You think once Cabrera gets moved back up on his assignment that Buchholz and his 1.008 OPS could get moved up?

Joseph
07-12-2008, 05:50 PM
Heres a question. Right now the only 2B on Daytons roster are Jolbert Cabrera and Kevyn Feiner. Feiner is only hitting .224. You think once Cabrera gets moved back up on his assignment that Buchholz and his 1.008 OPS could get moved up?

He is a college bat, without knowing the Billings roster situation, I can't dismiss it out of hand.

camisadelgolf
07-12-2008, 07:52 PM
Heres a question. Right now the only 2B on Daytons roster are Jolbert Cabrera and Kevyn Feiner. Feiner is only hitting .224. You think once Cabrera gets moved back up on his assignment that Buchholz and his 1.008 OPS could get moved up?

What about Angel Cabrera?

Still, even if they had three second baseman the caliber of Feiner/Cabrera, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Buchholz get called up. Actually, my guess is that Kevyn Feiner gets released soon. He's still fairly young, but a .579 OPS through four years in the minors won't get you very far.