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Thread: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

  1. #31
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Trouble with Mesoraco is that his slash line has been awful at every stop he's made, not just the FSL.

    At some point, the kid has to start producing raw numbers. He's young, so he has plenty of time, but OBPs of .310, .311, and .311 aren't going to cut it, especially when his SLG is held down by his inconsistent contact rate.
    They might just want him swinging and making contact, especially with pitchers who throw in the below AA leagues.

    It's AA where Catchers prove they belong in the Majors or not. If he spends 1-1/2 to 2 years there to get his fundamentals down and refine all of his Catching Defensive skills, which is what he's supposed to be working on as a Catcher at that level, then the hitting will probably follow as he's showing he's able to get contact with the ball where he's been so far. OBP just hasn't been that important in his career up to now. It's the last thing the REDS care about with him. If he's OBP'ing in 2011 below .330, then I'd start to get concerned. But if he OBP's .310 again in 2010, it's nothing to be concerned about.

    Just remember he's a Catcher. Catchers are brought through the system differently and through AA it's all about their Defense. Don't compare them to players from the other 8 positions. That's not how they're being developed.
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 02-03-2010 at 08:08 PM.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    I'd like to see Mesoraco's numbers compared to other Catchers from the FSL.

    Most of this discussion has been about his Offense, when his Offense is irrelevant at this point of his career. Unless his Offense was atrocious, then it would be an issue. It's not, so it's not.

    If you're in REDS Management, all you care about is his development defensively. We're going to find out this season, maybe next, whether he's going to make it as a Catcher or if the REDS need to switch him to another position and concentrate on developing his bat.

  4. #33
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    I'd like to see Mesoraco's numbers compared to other Catchers from the FSL.

    Most of this discussion has been about his Offense, when his Offense is irrelevant at this point of his career. Unless his Offense was atrocious, then it would be an issue. It's not, so it's not.

    If you're in REDS Management, all you care about is his development defensively. We're going to find out this season, maybe next, whether he's going to make it as a Catcher or if the REDS need to switch him to another position and concentrate on developing his bat.
    I'm sorry, but I find this wrong on so many levels.

    He better be the best damn catcher in the FSL after 2+ years of uninspiring performances in both the Rookie League and the Midwest League, given that he was a Top 15 pick in the entire draft. Problem is, he wasn't.

    His offense is irrelevant at this point in his career? And yet you're not sure if the Reds need to switch him to another position in order to concentrate on developing his bat? Which is it? When the answer is neither- it's not a good sign.

    As of now Mesoraco is at best an average player, both offensively and defensively, in the FSL. I don't think anyone cares that he is "only" in the FSL at this point or that he is still 3+ years away from the big leagues, but I do think that we care that he has never been any better than league-average (at best) in any professional league he has played in for the last three years. That is not good for a guy picked in the first half of the first round.
    Last edited by Benihana; 02-03-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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  5. #34
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    doug you made the same argument about Castro at SS. You thought he had nothing to prove at high A. Mes will be sent to AA, and will likely be sent back to high A and replaced by Coddington. Could be bad for both players.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  6. #35
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    doug you made the same argument about Castro at SS. You thought he had nothing to prove at high A. Mes will be sent to AA, and will likely be sent back to high A and replaced by Coddington. Could be bad for both players.
    Man, you are right. Because I was once wrong before on a player I am wrong again. I must have forgot that. I will try to not talk about prospects anymore because I was wrong about one at one point in time.

  7. #36
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Man, you are right. Because I was once wrong before on a player I am wrong again. I must have forgot that. I will try to not talk about prospects anymore because I was wrong about one at one point in time.
    lighten up. I've said a million times i acknowledge your expertise and access.

    My point is sometimes you seem aggressive when it comes to a player you like. I'm a bit more conservative. You like projections more, I like results.

    Sorry i offended you.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  8. #37
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    lighten up. I've said a million times i acknowledge your expertise and access.

    My point is sometimes you seem aggressive when it comes to a player you like. I'm a bit more conservative. You like projections more, I like results.

    Sorry i offended you.
    It just seems that way when its a player you aren't as high on. Such as Stubbs, Mesoraco or Castro.

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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    His offense is irrelevant at this point in his career? And yet you're not sure if the Reds need to switch him to another position in order to concentrate on developing his bat? Which is it? When the answer is neither- it's not a good sign.
    "Irrelevant's" probably too strong a word, but I think I explained it pretty well with what I said after I used the word. "IF" he was hitting poorly, then it would be "relevant". But, he's not, so it's "irrelevant".

    Actually, I am sure that at this point the REDS do not need to think of Mesoraco switching to another position and aren't thinking of switching him to another position. That's just not how anyone develops Catchers in Baseball. They can't find out until he's exhausted AA whether or not he can be successful as a Catcher, as AA is where he's going to sink or swim as a Catcher.

    Fortunately for this topic, we all get a good picture (from scouts) of Mesoraco's future (Defensively) over the next 7 months. I've seen nothing that would tell me I won't be pleased with the results, though I'm expecting many to be displeased with them because all they will be looking at will be his Offensive numbers, which I guarantee you, that unless they're bad, the REDS don't care what they end up being.

    Someone correct me here, if I'm wrong, but from my understanding, Mesoraco has always shown some real leaderships skills behind the plate, the type of person that can make pitching staffs better. If that can be further developed the next two years (you get your best instruction about calling games at the AA level...they work on it every day with the Catchers in AA, where it's not covered very much below those levels and above that level....you either know how to do it the way "your organization wants you to do it" by the time you leave AA, or they give up on you and move on), then the REDS could have the making of an excellent Catcher in the future. Their job is to play defense and control the pitching staff while calling games correctly. Hitting is a bonus.

    Did you see how much time they spent with Hanigan at AA? The guy's OBP was out of this world at every level he's been in, including for a while in the Majors, but they kept him in AA for 3 years to work on his Defense. There was nothing he had to work on Offensively. He already had it down. He'd already proved he had no problem with AAA hitting, but they sent him back down to AA to work on his game-calling skills.

    Even now, the REDS' organization has never felt that Hanigan is good enough to have the job full-time Defensively (not throwing out runners, but calling games, handling a staff, etc.) That's why Ramon Hernandez is back for the 2nd year in a row.

    Mesoraco has a legitimate shot to be our best Catcher since Dan Wilson. That's a great thing and something very exciting to look forward to. 2-1/2 more years and he could easily be a Rock in the REDS foundation.

    Those Hanigan numbers:

    The REDS signed him in 2002 as an amateur free agent out of Rollins College and he had 6 games at Dayton and OBP'd .333, he followed that at the age of 22 in Dayton (A-Ball) with 92 games and he OBP'd .367.

    At the age of 23, he puts in 119 games with High-A Potomac and OBP'd .369. But, did they advance him halfway through either of those seasons? No. He's a Catcher. They are promoted differently and completely different things are expected from them. It's not about the hitting. It's about the so many things like pitch-selection and staff-handling. They have as much to learn as a Manager in Training. That's why Catchers make the best Managers.

    At the age of 24, he finally gets to the AA level where he can learn his pitch-selecting and staff-handling skills. He destroys them with a .418 OBP. But, does that get him a mid-season promotion? No. Not at all. Because it's not about the hitting at that level. They'd have been happier if he'd had an OBP of .310, but his defensive skills and leaderships skills and staff-handling skills were much better.

    At the age of 25, he's back at Chattanooga, but only gets in 56 games. A year and a half is long enough usually to be taught what you need to know defensively those things that AA Catchers experience. You've picked up all you're going to pick up by then. He OBP's .347. He gets a call-up to AAA Louisville where he OBP's .421 in 8 games (19 PA's). But, guess where he is at the age of 26?

    At the age of 26, he's back at Chattanooga where he OBP's .420 in 60 games (247 PA's). He is what he is...a Catcher who doesn't handle the pitching staff well enough to be given a full-time Major League position, but has a bat good enough to be used as a backup/platoon Catcher in the Majors. He gets the Louisville call-up and OBP's .333 in 41 game along with a cup of coffee in Cincinnati (11 PA's and a ,364 OBP).

    At the age of 27, he starts out in Louisville and OBP's .392 in 311 PA's, followed by a callup to Cincinnati where he OBP's .367 in 98 PA's. The REDS go after Ramon Hernandez and sign him to a 2-year contract as Cincinnati's starting Catcher.

    At the age of 28, he's now a RED and OBP's .361 in 293 PA's, including a .421 OBP in 19 PA's while rehabbing in Louisville for a stint.

    This year, at the age of 29, we'll see Ryan backing up Ramon Hernandez again and probably OBP'-ing about .360.


    That's the path you're expecting to see from Mesoraco. That's not a path that gets us a starting Catcher. The path Mesoraco's on and has been on is the one that's going to make him the REDS' starting Catcher of the future.

    From the ages 25-32 (2013-2019), Mesoraco has a good chance to be the REDS starting Catcher for 8 years in a row, while sharing time as a starter when he's 24 in 2012. I'm not even beginning to say that he will, but at the end of August, Management will pretty much know. And, so far, so good. The advancements he made last year are what they were hoping to see.
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 02-04-2010 at 05:21 AM.

  10. #39
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    It just seems that way when its a player you aren't as high on. Such as Stubbs, Mesoraco or Castro.
    I've never stated any opinion on Mes. I never considered him a bust. And it wasn't that I don't like Castro, I just thought he wasn't ready for AA. I don't think Mes is either, but I'm betting that is where he will be.

    And yeah, I'm not fond of Stubbs game at the plate. Understatement I know. I think he'll be eaten alive if he goes northeast with the team out of ST.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    If they proceed with the Soto experiment, the confluence of Soto, Mesoraco and Coddington becomes very interesting and will give us good insight into how the organization values these guys relative to one another.

    One thought I have is that it may not be a horrible idea to put Soto at Dayton -- or in extended spring -- for awhile to let him work on his receiving skills. Depends on how fast a learner he is -- but without question it's the most difficult defensive position. And even if Soto is pushed back, I don't think it's best for either Mes or Coddington to go to AA. I suppose if the past is our guide, Mes would be pushed ahead....
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Does anybody have any idea what Soto's makeup is like? I ask because, to me, that's a huge part of the catcher equation. It has to be a guy who's into the game, who can think and scheme and communicate and even counsel, to some extent. No dullards for that position. Is that Soto? Does anybody know?

  13. #42
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    Does anybody have any idea what Soto's makeup is like? I ask because, to me, that's a huge part of the catcher equation. It has to be a guy who's into the game, who can think and scheme and communicate and even counsel, to some extent. No dullards for that position. Is that Soto? Does anybody know?
    Good question, and don't know but FWIW I agree I think the mental aspect of it is the more important part of the equation.
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  14. #43
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    Does anybody have any idea what Soto's makeup is like? I ask because, to me, that's a huge part of the catcher equation. It has to be a guy who's into the game, who can think and scheme and communicate and even counsel, to some extent. No dullards for that position. Is that Soto? Does anybody know?
    I can't really say much about his makeup since I've never met him personally, but I can tell you from the few times I've seen him that he is clearly a hard-worker and very stubborn about doing things until he gets it right. I've seen him get pretty mad during times in which he has made mistakes, so it looks like he expects a lot from himself. I have some doubts about his range, so trying him out at catcher might turn out to be a great idea since his arm is pretty good.

  15. #44
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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Neftali Soto is in Arizona now and was seen doing drills in the catchers gear.

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    Re: Neftali Soto - Catcher?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Neftali Soto is in Arizona now and was seen doing drills in the catchers gear.
    Good!
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