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View Full Version : Neftali Soto in relation to Joey Votto



Vottomatic
02-12-2012, 08:26 AM
Should the Reds play Soto exclusively in LF this season at Louisville, just in case he continues to prove he's ready for the big time? If his power continues, he may be that cleanup hitter they are looking for.

When I found out Neftali hit 30 HR's last year in the minors despite losing a month to a broken wrist, my appreciation went up alot. That is impressive.

This question is only relevant if he sustains what he did last year and improves upon it.

mth123
02-12-2012, 09:45 AM
Should the Reds play Soto exclusively in LF this season at Louisville, just in case he continues to prove he's ready for the big time? If his power continues, he may be that cleanup hitter they are looking for.

When I found out Neftali hit 30 HR's last year in the minors despite losing a month to a broken wrist, my appreciation went up alot. That is impressive.

This question is only relevant if he sustains what he did last year and improves upon it.

I wouldn't be opposed to it. It may be a way to get him some exteded time in the big leagues before Votto leaves town. They may be able to determine if Soto is the guy to replace Votto or whether they need to spend Votto's money on a 1B if and when he leaves. If Votto sticks around, LF is probably where Soto would wind-up anyway. Probably a crowd at Louisville but Soto, Phipps and Frazier appear to be the only real "prospects" among the position players and the existence of the others shouldn't cause them concern. The others are AAAA guys like Dorn, Costanzo and Rhinehart, insurance policies like Miller, Navarro, Janish and Harris or suspects like Negron and Valiaka. I'd guess they'll move guys around a lot.

1B Dorn/Frazier/Costanzo/Soto
2B Valaika/Negron/Harris
3B Frazier/Costanzo/Harris/Valaika
SS Janish/Negron/Valaika
C Miller/Navarro
LF Soto/Rhinehart/Dorn
CF Jones/Harris/Negron
RF Phipps/Rhinehart/Dorn

dougdirt
02-12-2012, 04:46 PM
Soto needs quite a bit of offensive work still. Having him change positions for the third time in three years probably isn't the best way to go about that.

muddie
02-12-2012, 06:16 PM
Why would you put Soto in left? If you're serious about him possibly replacing Votto down the road, play him at first. Cincy has proven Dorn is going no where, which is over my head. Costanzo is a guy I pull for but I don't see him being 'the guy.' Frazier...maybe, but I would think somewhere else on the field. I'd plug Soto in at first and see what he does with it. Were his 30 dingers a fluke? That is also something I would like to find out. He was totally on fire at one stretch last season after returning from a wrist injury no less. With Bell in Louisville, this will be interesting to watch.

AtomicDumpling
02-12-2012, 06:30 PM
I would leave Soto at 1B and let him concentrate totally on his hitting rather than learning yet another new position. His hitting is what is going to get him to the show (or not) and the chances are good that 1B for the Reds will have an opening before too long. If it turns out that Soto does develop into a legitimate major league bat and Votto does stick around, then the Reds will have a very valuable trade chip on their hands.

The Reds learned with Yonder Alonso (or should have) that it is often the best choice to keep a player at his best position and let him fully develop rather than trying to shoehorn him into a less than ideal position where he may struggle. If you can't use him at his natural position another team will be able to. That is how trades are born -- trades that help both teams.

muddie
02-12-2012, 06:53 PM
I would leave Soto at 1B and let him concentrate totally on his hitting rather than learning yet another new position. His hitting is what is going to get him to the show (or not) and the chances are good that 1B for the Reds will have an opening before too long. If it turns out that Soto does develop into a legitimate major league bat and Votto does stick around, then the Reds will have a very valuable trade chip on their hands.

The Reds learned with Yonder Alonso (or should have) that it is often the best choice to keep a player at his best position and let him fully develop rather than to trying to shoehorn him into a less than ideal position where he may struggle. If you can't use him at his natural position another team will be able to. That is how trades are born -- trades that help both teams.


Should have kept Alonso with Votto possibly gone in the near future. I liked what Alonso offered to the line up and defensively he would have been fine I believe.

mth123
02-12-2012, 07:23 PM
Why would you put Soto in left? If you're serious about him possibly replacing Votto down the road, play him at first. Cincy has proven Dorn is going no where, which is over my head. Costanzo is a guy I pull for but I don't see him being 'the guy.' Frazier...maybe, but I would think somewhere else on the field. I'd plug Soto in at first and see what he does with it. Were his 30 dingers a fluke? That is also something I would like to find out. He was totally on fire at one stretch last season after returning from a wrist injury no less. With Bell in Louisville, this will be interesting to watch.

I think the main reason is that Soto needs to get some significant major league time while Votto is still here so that the team can determine if he's the replacement or whether they need to go get somebody. If Soto only plays 1B, then Votto blocks him and he gets little big league time for the team to make that determination. If he gets some PT in LF, then he can get a lot of big league ABs in LF in 2013 to give the team more info on him for when Votto does leave. It shouldn't be an issue to move him back to 1B when Votto goes but I'd hope he's had about 400 big league PAs for the Reds to get an idea about him before making the decision. That won't happen if he's only a 1B.

The Reds really only have one every day player in the OF for the next couple of years. They have two iffy regulars in Stubbs and Heisey and an aging Ludwick. Soto could get some PAs there to help the team find out about his bat and given the shaky OF alternatives, it might not be a bad idea in its own right.

corkedbat
02-12-2012, 08:05 PM
I think the main reason is that Soto needs to get some significant major league time while Votto is still here so that the team can determine if he's the replacement or whether they need to go get somebody. If Soto only plays 1B, then Votto blocks him and he gets little big league time for the team to make that determination. If he gets some PT in LF, then he can get a lot of big league ABs in LF in 2013 to give the team more info on him for when Votto does leave. It shouldn't be an issue to move him back to 1B when Votto goes but I'd hope he's had about 400 big league PAs for the Reds to get an idea about him before making the decision. That won't happen if he's only a 1B.

The Reds really only have one every day player in the OF for the next couple of years. They have two iffy regulars in Stubbs and Heisey and an aging Ludwick. Soto could get some PAs there to help the team find out about his bat and given the shaky OF alternatives, it might not be a bad idea in its own right.

Isn't Soto supposed to be as slow as Yonder (or slower).

mth123
02-12-2012, 08:31 PM
Isn't Soto supposed to be as slow as Yonder (or slower).

Probably, but I still want to see some extended major league PAs before handing him 1B when Votto leaves town. Even if he tears up AAA and hits another 30 HR, I'd still want some major league exposure to help decide where to spend Votto's money if he goes. He won't get it at 1B before the decision needs to be made.

RedsManRick
02-12-2012, 09:30 PM
Soto has a history as being a s bit of a free swinger. I decided to take a look and see if I could find any MLB comps based on his BB% and K%. In the last 3 years, his best BB% is 6.0 and best K% is 17.7 (they've both been trending up). So I arbitrarily decided to take a look at all MLB hitters with 1000 PA in the last 3 years with a BB% south of 7% and a K% north of 17%.

Take it for what it's worth, but I think it does a decent job of showing that he'll need to continue to get the BB% up to be a real threat. Luckily, if he does that, he's got some nice models -- including Nelson Cruz (8.1, 21.4), Carlos Gonzalez (7.8, 20.7) and (Josh Hamilton (7.2, 18.1). Of course, some similar types haven't done as well, including Alfonso Soriano and Adam Lind.



Name BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld BsR WAR
Carl Crawford 6.4% 16.4% .162 .330 .291 .340 .453 .352 119 33.5 7.2 13.7
Ryan Raburn 6.6% 23.8% .199 .327 .274 .329 .473 .345 111 -4.7 2.9 4.9
Adam Jones 5.0% 18.5% .174 .314 .281 .326 .455 .338 105 -20.6 8.4 7.3
Asdrubal Cabre 6.8% 16.0% .138 .326 .286 .340 .424 .337 108 -26.8 5.7 7.6
Marlon Byrd 5.1% 16.0% .152 .320 .285 .334 .437 .336 101 3.9 0.6 7.8
Howie Kendrick 4.9% 17.3% .152 .327 .284 .327 .436 .334 107 14.3 5.1 10.0
Delmon Young 4.1% 16.8% .157 .315 .284 .316 .442 .325 100 -27.0 -0.6 1.3
Jeff Francoeur 5.0% 16.5% .158 .301 .273 .314 .431 .320 97 1.6 -4.9 3.8
Gerardo Parra 6.6% 17.9% .120 .338 .282 .331 .403 .316 88 22.5 -0.3 4.3
Juan Uribe 6.7% 18.0% .173 .276 .251 .306 .425 .315 94 15.5 0.7 6.6
Miguel Olivo 4.9% 28.4% .193 .305 .246 .285 .439 .309 86 7.0 0.4 6.1
Ian Desmond 5.2% 20.1% .125 .315 .262 .304 .387 .304 87 -17.2 5.4 3.2
Clint Barmes 6.8% 18.0% .155 .271 .242 .303 .398 .303 78 20.3 6.6 5.5
Kevin Kouzmano 4.4% 17.5% .153 .274 .248 .291 .401 .301 87 24.2 -0.9 5.9
Aaron Rowand 4.5% 22.6% .143 .297 .244 .295 .387 .298 82 14.3 -0.5 3.6
Rod Barajas 4.8% 17.7% .193 .235 .231 .275 .424 .298 82 -3.0 -8.1 2.8
Alex Gonzalez 4.4% 18.6% .153 .276 .244 .281 .397 .294 78 12.5 -0.9 5.0
Ivan Rodriguez 4.4% 18.5% .108 .297 .252 .286 .360 .281 68 9.0 -2.6 2.4
Ronny Cedeno 5.4% 20.9% .115 .294 .241 .284 .355 .277 68 2.9 3.5 2.2

RedlegJake
02-13-2012, 10:47 AM
Soto needs to stay at first base and just concentrate on one position and his hitting. If Soto conquers the upper levels and improves his pitch selection and recognition enough to elevate his bb% a bit and hold or lower his ko% while maintaining his slugging pct. then he is likely a legit major league slugger. He's never had a problem hitting the ball , ie contact, he tends to hit the ball hard, a bit better selectivity will improve his bb% and improve the balls he drives verses the ones he misses and complete the picture. If this is a bit of polish its the hardest part of the puzzle, probably, since its almost a case of learning against natural instinct. I'd rather Soto could devote most of his energy on the field and in practice to finishing his learning as a hitter than to working on a new position in the field. Signing Votto long term means the Reds can trade a very valuable Soto in another Latos type deal if it came to that. Not signing Votto means Soto needs to be ready to fill at least part of some very big shoes.