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Geovany Soto

Chicago Cubs — No. 18
Catcher
Born: January 20, 1983 (1983-01-20) (age 26)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 23, 2005 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .264
Home runs     37
Runs batted in     143
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Geovany Soto (born January 20, 1983 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Chicago Cubs.

Professional career

Soto wearing full catcher attire

Selected by the Chicago Cubs 318th overall in the 11th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, he made his major league debut on September 23, 2005, against the Houston Astros. He was recalled by the Cubs on July 12, 2007, but only had 1 hit in 7 at bats.[1] In September 2007, when the Cubs expanded their roster, he joined the team again. This was mainly because, in the minor leagues that year, he batted .353 with 26 home runs and 109 RBI and was named the Pacific Coast League's MVP while playing for the Iowa Cubs.[2] After his call-up in September, Soto had an average of .389.[1] Soto started for the Cubs during the 2007 playoff series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In game 2 of the series, Soto hit a home run into the left field bleachers at Chase Field, giving the Cubs an early 2-0 lead. The Cubs ended up losing that game, but it further solidified him as the Cubs' full-time catcher going into 2008, with Jason Kendall moving on to Milwaukee as a free agent.

Arguably the best offensive performance in Soto's young career came April 30, 2008, in a rout against the Brewers. Soto hit two 3-run homers to account for 6 of the Cubs' 19 RBIs, only a few days removed from a two-game stretch against the Nationals in which he struck out in 8 consecutive at-bats. Soto was voted the National League Rookie of the Month for April 2008 after hitting .341 with 5 home runs, 8 doubles, and 20 RBIs, with an OPS of 1.059.[3] On May 19, 2008, he scored his first career Inside-the-park home run against the Houston Astros.[4] Soto led the early stage of the voting process for the National League's catcher in the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[5] He was selected to be the National League's starting catcher in the game. Soto became the first rookie catcher ever to start on the National League All-Star team.[6] Soto is the first Cubs' All-Star rookie to play in the game with at least 14 home runs since Rafael Palmeiro did it in 1987, surpassing the mark when he hit his 15th home run on July 6, 2008.[7] He went 3 for 5 with 7 RBIs in a game on August 26 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.[8]

As a rookie catcher, Soto called a no-hitter game from behind the plate to pitcher Carlos Zambrano in a game against the Houston Astros on September 14, 2008.[9] Played at Miller Park in Milwaukee due to Hurricane Ike moving through Houston, this was the first no-hitter in major league history pitched at a neutral site.

After the 2008 season, Soto was honored with The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award and the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award for the National League.[10][11] Soto is the first Cubs' backstop to play for multiple Cub playoff teams since Gabby Hartnett, and is the first to start playoff games in consecutive years since Johnny Kling. Soto also won the Pedrín Zorrilla Award, receiving unanimous support during the voting process.[12] Orlando Cepeda was contacted to present the award, traveling to Puerto Rico for the ceremony.[12]

In June 2009, Soto was revealed to have tested positive for marijuana at the World Baseball Classic.[13] While the MLB did not take any disciplinary actions, the International Baseball Federation has banned him from playing internationally for two years.[14]

References

  1. ^ a b "Stats: Individual Player Game Log - Geovany Soto C". Major League Baseball. http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_gamebygamelog.jsp?playerID=434567&statType=1. Retrieved 2008-05-22.  
  2. ^ "Player Statistics: Geovany Soto". Minor League Baseball. http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Geovany%20Soto&pos=C&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=434567. Retrieved 2008-05-22.  
  3. ^ Mike Scarr (2008-05-09). "Soto catches Gillette rookie honor". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080509&content_id=2668292&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2008-05-22.  
  4. ^ "Geovany Soto's inside-the-park homer paces Cubs' 7-2 win". Los Angeles Times. 2008-05-20. http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-nlgameofday20-2008may20,0,3440258.story. Retrieved 2008-05-22.  
  5. ^ Lester Jiménez (2008-07-01). "Soto se consolida en la votación" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/soto_se_consolida_en_la_votacion/205886. Retrieved 2008-07-01.  
  6. ^ Carrie Muskat (2008-07-06). "Cubs send seven to All-Star Game". Cubs.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080706&content_id=3076110&vkey=news_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  7. ^ "Geovany celebró con su 15to. bambinazo" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2008-07-07. http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/geovany_celebro_con__su_15to._bambinazo/207646. Retrieved 2008-07-08.  
  8. ^ "Geovany Soto estuvo colosal con siete remolcadas" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2008-08-27. http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/acciondeportiva/geovany_soto_estuvo_colosal_con_siete_remolcadas/223857. Retrieved 2008-08-27.  
  9. ^ Roberto Colón Segarra (2008-09-16). "Gesta con toque criollo" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/beisbol/accion_deportiva/gesta_con__toque_criollo/230075. Retrieved 2008-09-16.  
  10. ^ Carrie Muskat (2008-10-22). "Soto, Longoria recognized by players". http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081022&content_id=3636598&vkey=news_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc. Retrieved 2008-10-22.  
  11. ^ "Rays' Longoria, Cubs' Soto win rookie of year awards". 2008-11-10. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3693976. Retrieved 2008-11-10.  
  12. ^ a b ""Peruchín" Cepeda encabeza acto en honor de Soto" (in Spanish). El Expresso de Puerto Rico. 2008-11-26. http://www.elexpresso.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1610&Itemid=39. Retrieved 2009-01-13.  
  13. ^ "Geovany Soto embarrassed by positive drug test at World Baseball Classic". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-26-cubs-brite-chicago-jun26,0,7164425.story. Retrieved 2009-06-25.  
  14. ^ "Cubs' Soto won't be suspended for positive marijuana test at WBC". CBSSports.com. 2009-06-25. http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/11892885. Retrieved 2009-07-11.  

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Ryan Braun
NL Rookie of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Chris Coghlan
Preceded by
Ryan Braun
Baseball America Rookie of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ryan Braun
Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
J. A. Happ
Preceded by
Ryan Braun
Baseball Prospectus Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ryan Braun
Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie
2008
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Carlos Ruiz
Topps Rookie All-Star Catcher
2008
Succeeded by
Incumbent







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