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Soto Coming Around at the Plate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Back in 2008, Geovany Soto won NL Rookie of the Year honors as a catcher with the Chicago Cubs, batting .285 with a .364 on-base percentage, 23 home runs and 86 RBIs while also showing he was more than capable of handling duties behind the plate.

    Since then, he has become much more of a defensive catcher, leading the NL in caught-stealings in 2011 but hasn't had a lot of success at the plate. So on July 31, with Soto hitting .199 for the Cubs, he joined teammate Ryan Dempster in being traded to the Texas Rangers before the Rangers designated Yorvit Torrealba for assignment.

    Rangers fans might have groaned a bit when they heard they were acquiring a .199 hitter to be the everyday catcher for their team with Mike Napoli on the disabled list indefinitely and Torrealba gone. But so far, so good for Soto.

    Soto has shown to be a great receiver behind the plate and has called some good games. That was expected. But he's also got his bat going, raising his average to .211 since coming over from the Cubs by hitting .286 on the Rangers' current homestand.

    When you have a lineup like the Rangers', you don't need your catcher to hit .300, though the second half of last season put up by Napoli was a really nice added bonus. If Soto can call a good game and keep baserunners from running wild like Torrealba was doing, he'll be a great asset for the Rangers this year and next.