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View Full Version : Neftali Soto cracks this weeks Prospect Hot Sheet



OnBaseMachine
08-29-2008, 01:40 PM
No. 10 NEFTALI SOTO, 3B REDS

Team: low Class A Dayton (Midwest)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .429/.433/.714, 12-for-28, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-1 SB
The Scoop: Soto has come close to making the Hot Sheet several times over the last few weeks, but here he finally breaks through in the season's final week. After slugging his way out of the Rookie-level Pioneer League by mid July, Soto has continued tearing the cover off the ball in the Midwest League. He's hitting .332/.350/.502 in 205 at-bats for Dayton, and he's currently riding a 13-game hitting streak while helping lead his team to the Midwest League playoffs. He still hasn't been walking that much, but his smooth stroke and great hand-eye coordination have helped him limit his strikeouts to 35 in his 49 games with the Dragons.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2008/266782.html

BA will be holding a chat at 2:30.

dougdirt
08-29-2008, 01:47 PM
Everyone should ask about how good of a prospect Soto is currently and hopefully someone will get an answer. I would love to get a better feeler on how they are feeling about Soto compared to some of us.

OnBaseMachine
08-29-2008, 01:50 PM
I sent in two questions. I asked them to rank Soto/Alonso/Frazier in order of who the best prospect is, and if Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez would crack their top 10 Reds prospects list.

redsof72
08-29-2008, 04:06 PM
It is hard to compare Soto and Frazier because there is such a difference in age/experience but they would both have to be in the Reds' top 5. Soto is just a great hitter for his age. His one weakness is below average speed and he will probably become a poorer runner when he puts on weight to his 180 pound frame. He is already fairly slow as it is and when he adds 25 pounds, he might be dreadfully slow. Soto is not as good defensively at third base as Waring but has far more potential as a hitter. Right now, Soto is a 15-20 home run hitter but I would expect that to go to 25, maybe even 30. The reference to not walking a lot makes me laugh a little. The last thing anyone wants him doing right now is going up there trying to draw a walk. He is the guy that is going to have to drive in the runs, not leave it up to someone else to drive them in. He is the kind of hitter that wins games for you with big hits with men on base. He is the most consistent threat the Dragons have in the lineup offensively. When he starts walking more, the team will start scoring fewer runs.

Bumstead
08-29-2008, 04:15 PM
I'm not sure the success of Dayton's team is as important as the development of Soto as a player. He seems to be a tremendous hitter but as he progresses, pitchers will figure out that they can get him out by pitching him out of the strike zone. That is unless he is an exceptional talent that can get hits off bad pitches like Vlad. Doesn't happen too often. While Dusty may not thinking taking pitches/walks is important, historically the best players in the game swing at strikes and let the bad ones go by.

Having said all that, I am still very anxious to see how he does at the next level. Seems like he has a chance to be a really good player. Thanks for the update.

Bumstead

redhawk61
08-29-2008, 04:37 PM
he only has a 16.5 % K rate. Its not a problem of lack of plate discipline, its just if its in the zone he hits it. He's not a swing and miss guy from what I can see, he just makes pitcher regret even throwing strikes. I think he is only going to get better. As he grows up and gets more strength he is going to be a terror with his SLG% which should envoke pitchers pitching around him and more walks.

Now I am no expert, so I am not sure how much validity there is in what I said but that's how I see it.

OnBaseMachine
08-29-2008, 04:39 PM
he only has a 16.5 % K rate. Its not a problem of lack of plate discipline, its just if its in the zone he hits it. He's not a swing and miss guy from what I can see, he just makes pitcher regret even throwing strikes. I think he is only going to get better. As he grows up and gets more strength he is going to be a terror with his SLG% which should envoke pitchers pitching around him and more walks.

Now I am no expert, so I am not sure how much validity there is in what I said but that's how I see it.

I agree with this. He doesn't appear to chase many bad pitches as evidenced by his low strikeout total. It just looks like he puts the ball in play when it's in his strikezone.

Bumstead
08-29-2008, 05:00 PM
And like I said, I am also anxious to see what he does at the next level. It will be interesting to see how the low walk rate and low strike out rate translate with his high batting average at High A and Double A. I am actually optimistic about the outcome. I just don't agree that he should be up there wailing away, refusing to take a walk.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Bum

redhawk61
08-29-2008, 05:10 PM
And like I said, I am also anxious to see what he does at the next level. It will be interesting to see how the low walk rate and low strike out rate translate with his high batting average at High A and Double A. I am actually optimistic about the outcome. I just don't agree that he should be up there wailing away, refusing to take a walk.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Bum
He's not wailing away, he is swinging at pitches that he can make good contact with...it just happens to be that he can make good contact with almost anything in the zone it seems.

OnBaseMachine
08-29-2008, 06:06 PM
I had both of my questions answered:

Q: Brandon from Charleston, WV asks:
How would you rank Neftali Soto, Yonder Alonso, and Todd Frazier?

A: John Manuel: Alonso, Soto, Frazier.

Q: Brandon from Charleston, WV asks:
Will Juan Duran or Yorman Rodriguez crack the Reds top 10 prospects?

A: John Manuel: Yes on Duran, I'll say maybe on Yorman. Gonna be a new look atop the Reds' list with Bruce, Cueto, even Homer and also Votto gone.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2008/266783.html

New Fever
08-29-2008, 06:29 PM
So what do you guys think BA Reds Top 10 will look like? I believe it will look something like this, just from some of the coments in the chats:

1. Yonder Alonso
2. Neftali Soto
3. Drew Stubbs
4. Todd Frazier
5. Chris Valakia
6. Juan Duran
7. Juan Francisco
8. Daryl Thompson
9. Kyle Lotzkar
10. Devin Mesoraco/Yorman Rodriguez

PuffyPig
08-29-2008, 08:58 PM
So what do you guys think BA Reds Top 10 will look like? I believe it will look something like this, just from some of the coments in the chats:

1. Yonder Alonso
2. Neftali Soto
3. Drew Stubbs
4. Todd Frazier
5. Chris Valakia
6. Juan Duran
7. Juan Francisco
8. Daryl Thompson
9. Kyle Lotzkar
10. Devin Mesoraco/Yorman Rodriguez

I'd be surprised if Stubbs isn't #2, maybe even 1.

Soto, having not played AA yet, won't move up that fast.

redhawk61
08-29-2008, 09:05 PM
I'd be surprised if Stubbs isn't #2, maybe even 1.

Soto, having not played AA yet, won't move up that fast.
They do it based on potential, which Soto has arguably more than any of them at this point....Alonso being 21 is the reason he gets the nod over Soto right now

dougdirt
08-29-2008, 09:12 PM
Right now I have it
Soto
Alonso
Frazier/Stubbs (tie)

PuffyPig
08-29-2008, 09:18 PM
They do it based on potential, which Soto has arguably more than any of them at this point....Alonso being 21 is the reason he gets the nod over Soto right now


Soto more potential than Alonso and Stubbs???

If they all reach their ceiling, Stubbs and Alonso will likely be miles ahead of Soto. Stubbs is more of a risk to miss that ceiling to be sure, but his potential is there.

BillDoran
08-29-2008, 09:24 PM
Stubbs' ceiling is Steve Finley.

sjesu
08-29-2008, 09:40 PM
Stubbs' ceiling is Steve Finley.

Do you mean 2 time All-Star, 5 time Gold Glove, .774 career OPS Steve Finley?

dougdirt
08-29-2008, 09:42 PM
Stubbs' ceiling is Steve Finley.

The biggest differences between the two is the ability to draw the walk and defense (I know Finley has the GG's, but I really think Stubbs is better). Stubbs ceiling is higher than Finley, whether he reaches it or not is still unknown though.

Stubbs ceiling is that of a gold glove playing centerfielder who can also be among the best hitters in baseball at his position. Whether he reaches that ceiling or not doesn't change the fact that it is his ceiling.

Kc61
08-29-2008, 10:06 PM
Right now I have it
Soto
Alonso
Frazier/Stubbs (tie)


Right now it's Alonso, Stubbs, Frazier, Soto, Francisco. I think this is the clear top five, and my suggested order.

And Soto at number four (rather than five), for me, is subject to some doubt.

Like Frazier, Soto is one of those infielders without a clear position. Soto is reputedly not a plus defender or runner. He's got power potential, but hasn't really shown great power as yet.

Soto's value as a prospect seems based on an excellent feel for hitting and good unrealized power potential. And to be sure this is the kind of all around hitter the Reds have lacked. But until he shows the power that Frazier, Francisco and (in college) Alonso has, I don't see how he is the team's best prospect.

dougdirt
08-29-2008, 10:18 PM
Right now it's Alonso, Stubbs, Frazier, Soto, Francisco. I think this is the clear top five, and my suggested order.

And Soto at number four (rather than five), for me, is subject to some doubt.

Like Frazier, Soto is one of those infielders without a clear position. Soto is reputedly not a plus defender or runner. He's got power potential, but hasn't really shown great power as yet.

Soto's value as a prospect seems based on an excellent feel for hitting and good unrealized power potential. And to be sure this is the kind of all around hitter the Reds have lacked. But until he shows the power that Frazier, Francisco and (in college) Alonso has, I don't see how he is the team's best prospect.
You can see the power with Soto by watching him hit. The ball just jumps off the kids bat. His power is current power, with plenty of room to grow. This season he is sporting a .210 Isolated Power number. Thats power and a half from a 19 year old. Compare that to Francisco last year when he was a little older than Soto is now, and he had just a .195 Isolated power number. He is the best hitter in the system. Sure, he has power potential, but lets not say thats all he has because he is hitting for plenty of power right now.

OnBaseMachine
08-29-2008, 10:25 PM
Right now it's Alonso, Stubbs, Frazier, Soto, Francisco. I think this is the clear top five, and my suggested order.

And Soto at number four (rather than five), for me, is subject to some doubt.

Like Frazier, Soto is one of those infielders without a clear position. Soto is reputedly not a plus defender or runner. He's got power potential, but hasn't really shown great power as yet.

Soto's value as a prospect seems based on an excellent feel for hitting and good unrealized power potential. And to be sure this is the kind of all around hitter the Reds have lacked. But until he shows the power that Frazier, Francisco and (in college) Alonso has, I don't see how he is the team's best prospect.

Soto has 37 extra base hits in 276 atbats and a .554 SLG %. I'd call that pretty good power, especially for a 19 year old.

redhawk61
08-29-2008, 10:26 PM
I have to ask... Where has this come from that Soto is slow

From his 2007 draft scouting report:
Soto has an intriguing package of tools that includes raw power and above-average speed. Currently a shortstop, he doesn't profile as a guy who'll be able to stay there, particularly range-wise. That's OK, because his offensive skill set fits better at third. He should hit enough for the position and could develop into a No. 5 or 6 hitter in a big-league lineup.

New Fever
08-29-2008, 11:11 PM
This is from a July 22 Baseball Prospectus Chat.

Jason (Cincy): Kevin, What are your thoughts for Neftali Soto long-term, does he stick at 3B? How impressive has been thus far?

Kevin Goldstein: He's been crazy impressive. I was able to recently speak to a scout who saw him at Dayton and he said he just really stood out on that team. The bat is outstanding, he has good power potential, but he does need to improve defensively. That said, on a tools level, he fits well at 3rd, because the arm is outstanding.

RedlegJake
08-29-2008, 11:14 PM
I have to ask... Where has this come from that Soto is slow

From his 2007 draft scouting report:
Soto has an intriguing package of tools that includes raw power and above-average speed. Currently a shortstop, he doesn't profile as a guy who'll be able to stay there, particularly range-wise. That's OK, because his offensive skill set fits better at third. He should hit enough for the position and could develop into a No. 5 or 6 hitter in a big-league lineup.

I agree. He has 7 triples and 4 steals without getting caught yet in (at the point I checked 75 total games in 2 years so far). That's not a slow runner. I have heard he is a bit ungainly right now as he's thin and as he fills he'll likely lose a bit of top end speed but I haven't heard before now that he was slow and likely to be very slow afoot.