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Thread: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

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    Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Carolina leads 1-0 on Neftali Soto's 15th homerun.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    He's been on a power surge. You know, I almost started a thread today, but chickened out. It was posing the question: Am I the only one who's not convinced that Alonso is a better prospect than Soto?

    I backed off for a couple reasons. One, Alonso's career numbers are a little better. And two, most of the scouts and experts are in his corner. And of course, I'd be under assault from all the Alonso enthusiasts on Redszone.

    But I think a case can be made for Soto--not that he's better, necessarily, but at least in the photo. The short version is that he's outperforming Alonso both at Carolina and at the age of 22 (Alonso's two years older). Of course, that's complicated by the fact that Alonso was dealing with the hamate injury in those days.

    They seem to be pretty much a wash defensively. Alonso now has left field on his resume, but Soto came up as a SS and has played some 3B, not to mention his tinkering as a catcher. (I don't mean to imply that he might still play SS or even 3B; just that he must possess some trace of those kinds of skills.)

    I'm influenced by my impressions of their respective swings. Alonso gives me pause with his long arc. I've only seen Soto once in person, but he immediately struck me as a hitter. That said, my opinion in that respect is not refined enough to count for much.

    Anyway, I think Soto has hit his way into the discussion. His power is clearly on the uptick.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Phipps has added a two run homer to put Carolina up 3-0.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    mace,

    Did you see Soto in W-S last year? If so, what position was he playing that day?

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    I too almost started a thread on Soto today, so I'll ask the question here. I'm an Alonso fan but also a Soto fan and have been since day 1. The question is simple. Can Soto play LF?

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    He's been on a power surge. You know, I almost started a thread today, but chickened out. It was posing the question: Am I the only one who's not convinced that Alonso is a better prospect than Soto?

    I backed off for a couple reasons. One, Alonso's career numbers are a little better. And two, most of the scouts and experts are in his corner. And of course, I'd be under assault from all the Alonso enthusiasts on Redszone.

    But I think a case can be made for Soto--not that he's better, necessarily, but at least in the photo. The short version is that he's outperforming Alonso both at Carolina and at the age of 22 (Alonso's two years older). Of course, that's complicated by the fact that Alonso was dealing with the hamate injury in those days.

    They seem to be pretty much a wash defensively. Alonso now has left field on his resume, but Soto came up as a SS and has played some 3B, not to mention his tinkering as a catcher. (I don't mean to imply that he might still play SS or even 3B; just that he must possess some trace of those kinds of skills.)

    I'm influenced by my impressions of their respective swings. Alonso gives me pause with his long arc. I've only seen Soto once in person, but he immediately struck me as a hitter. That said, my opinion in that respect is not refined enough to count for much.

    Anyway, I think Soto has hit his way into the discussion. His power is clearly on the uptick.
    Over the last couple of years, I've seen Soto as I do Frazier. Not necessarily a can't-miss, everyday starter, but a potentially valuable utility player with some punch off the bench

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    He's been on a power surge. You know, I almost started a thread today, but chickened out. It was posing the question: Am I the only one who's not convinced that Alonso is a better prospect than Soto?

    I backed off for a couple reasons. One, Alonso's career numbers are a little better. And two, most of the scouts and experts are in his corner. And of course, I'd be under assault from all the Alonso enthusiasts on Redszone.

    But I think a case can be made for Soto--not that he's better, necessarily, but at least in the photo. The short version is that he's outperforming Alonso both at Carolina and at the age of 22 (Alonso's two years older). Of course, that's complicated by the fact that Alonso was dealing with the hamate injury in those days.

    They seem to be pretty much a wash defensively. Alonso now has left field on his resume, but Soto came up as a SS and has played some 3B, not to mention his tinkering as a catcher. (I don't mean to imply that he might still play SS or even 3B; just that he must possess some trace of those kinds of skills.)

    I'm influenced by my impressions of their respective swings. Alonso gives me pause with his long arc. I've only seen Soto once in person, but he immediately struck me as a hitter. That said, my opinion in that respect is not refined enough to count for much.

    Anyway, I think Soto has hit his way into the discussion. His power is clearly on the uptick.
    Here is my scouting breakdown between the two:

    Defense: Wash. Both are very likely first baseman for their careers. Alonso has an edge right now IMO at first base, but I think that is more due to experience there than skill. Soto will catch up with more experience.

    Power: Soto has an edge here. I think Soto can be a legit 30+ HR guy if things go right for him. I think Alonso is more of a 25-30 HR guy.

    Hitting ability: Same. This is for a pure hit tool. I think both guys could be .300 hitters at the MLB level. Right now though, Alonso's hit tool is clearly better than that of Soto's.

    Plate discipline: Here is the largest difference and the one that makes Alonso a MUCH better prospect right now. Alonso has above average plate discipline. He understands the strikezone very well. Soto on the flip side has made some strides, but his approach is still pretty crude. He is a swing first type of hitter, which isn't always a bad thing, but you need to make a lot of contact with that approach and he isn't an elite contact type of hitter who can get by with that approach. He must be more patient because as I have noted, his hit tool can be very good and he has legit MLB first baseman power.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    End of 3 1/2 at Huntsville, Carolina up 3-0.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Carolina up 5-1 after big two run shot by David Cook. Avery has given up only two hits through four.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Into the 5th inning, Dan Merklinger, the Stars starter, has thrown 100 pitches. It is very hot in Huntsville.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by muddie View Post
    mace,

    Did you see Soto in W-S last year? If so, what position was he playing that day?
    Yes. And first base. He looked OK around the bag, but the first time you see him run you're aware that he's painfully slow . . . Oh, but you've seen him plenty now. On second glance and third glance, is he as slow as he looked at first?

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post

    Plate discipline: Here is the largest difference and the one that makes Alonso a MUCH better prospect right now. Alonso has above average plate discipline. He understands the strikezone very well. Soto on the flip side has made some strides, but his approach is still pretty crude. He is a swing first type of hitter, which isn't always a bad thing, but you need to make a lot of contact with that approach and he isn't an elite contact type of hitter who can get by with that approach. He must be more patient because as I have noted, his hit tool can be very good and he has legit MLB first baseman power.
    There's no question that Alonso has a wide edge in plate discipline, and it's an important category. However, even with a deficit in OBP, Soto has posted better OPS numbers in Carolina and at age 22. I think it's worth noting, also, that Soto is two years younger, and will very possibly improve in that area.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    James Avery is in to the bottom of the sixth with 75 pitches thrown.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    First two hitters on for Huntsville. Tim Gustafson warms while Tom Brown goes out to chat.

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    Re: Monday 7/11/11 Minor League Game Thread

    After Grandal throws out an attempted steal at third, a double puts another run up for Huntsville. Avery done for the evening. Carolina 5-2 with two out in the bottom of the sixth.


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