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What The Hell Is Wrong With...Geovany Soto?

First up in our What The Hell Is Wrong With...series, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto.  The 25 year-old catcher has two hits in 24 plate appearances on the young season.  Granted, the Cubs' season is less than 7% over.  But, Soto has been a complete non-factor in fantasy baseball so far.

First off, Soto's WBC appearance threw off his preparation.  He fell behind in his hitting prep and put on some pounds, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald in March.  On April 7th, Soto left the Cubs' game against the Astros due to shoulder soreness/discomfort.  He said it wasn't the first time he's had this type of discomfort.  The MRI came back clean, and Soto returned on the 12th as a pinch-hitter.

Soto set the bar pretty high with his Rookie of the Year numbers - .285-23-86-66-0 in 494 ABs last year.  That's an expectation of about 4 HR and 14 RBI per month.  His worst month last year was July; he posted a .740 OPS and still managed 4 HR and 11 RBI.  You hate to see a catcher get off to a slow start, since you expect to see their best numbers in the first half before they get worn down.

Soto typically was drafted in the sixth round this year, after Russell Martin and Brian McCann among catchers.  I sprung for him in the fifth round of the RotoAuthority league, with Martin, McCann, and Joe Mauer already off the board.  Victor Martinez went in the sixth round, and that pick is working out well for Philly Cheez so far.  (By the way, Cult of Personality snagged Yadier Molina in the 23rd and Brandon Inge was an April 1st free agent pickup by Volvo Wagon Dynasty). 

All of that might be interesting (at least to me) but the bottom line is that with Soto and other slow starters, draft position and the stats so far are sunk costs.  He's on your roster, there's nothing better out there, and you have to wait and hope he starts hitting in May.  At least we have an explanation for Soto's April.  Baseball Prospectus has his Collapse Rate at 16% - basically the chance that his offense decreases by 20%+ compared to his established performance.  I think Soto will be fine, and it's just a matter of catching up after the WBC.



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