Prospect #35: Catcher, Carlos Soto
Johnson City Cardinals
Signed as an International Free Agent in 2016
The Stats As Of 7-17-2018
THE QUICK WRITE UP
I am not the type of evaluator to get too excited about a player at Johnson City or a nineteen year old that has only been state side for such a short period of time. However, I wanted to use the thirty fifth spot on the countdown to highlight a player that might be a lottery ticket. A deep sleeper. That's Carlos Soto (and I picked him over Ivan Herrera) because I think that there's something exciting about Soto's approach. The big-bodied catcher checks all of the boxes that you'd hope a young hitter would check. At the plate, his low K rate to start the season is a big sign of promise and the modest-but-encouraging power that he's shown is a great development. Soto is walking an incredible amount, as well. With rates like that and flashes of power, his bat seems like it's on the correct path.
As of right now, there isn't much footage of Soto. What we do know is that he was one of the Cardinals prizes during the 2016 International Signing Period so there's reason to believe that this level of success is sustainable. Soto is big and a bit sloppy, physically. He would do well for himself to clean that up a little bit. I've heard conflicting reports about his ability as a back stop, but all indications are that he has games of brilliance and games where he is daft. Cleaning up his body physically would help the talented-catching version of Soto shine more frequently.
Like with all teenagers in the organization, the questions about how he will continue to develop will go unanswered for at least the remainder of this season. One thing is for sure; Soto has gotten off to a great start. Along with GCL catcher Ivan Herrera, Soto could be at the forefront of the next catcher revolution in the system.
WHY TO GET EXCITED
Soto is young and super talented
A potential catcher, Soto could end up being the next in a line of well developed catchers in the Cardinals organization.
Soto has a sweet, compact swing that generates good power.
He's has a powerful frame that should generate more power over time.
He has a great approach at the plate.
He has walked as much as he's struck out. That is especially good because he is walking a lot and not striking out a lot.
Has the potential to stick at catcher.
I've been impressed with his arm from behind the plate.
Soto is only 19-years-old and he's advanced for his age. The template is there for him to advance quickly.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
Soto has a good frame, but he's sloppy. He needs to clean himself up a little.
There are some conflicting reports about his abilities as a catcher and most think that he'll have to move first base somewhere down the line. I believe that his defensive consistency will improve greatly when he gets into better shape.
While I do believe that power will come in an average capacity, it hasn't come yet.
Soto lumbers around. He feels really slow, to me.
Like with all teenagers, there is a long journey ahead for him. A lot can go wrong between and when he might make it to the upper levels.
Soto is prone to mental lapses. I've been told that he makes frequent base running mistakes. Base running mistakes are bad enough, but the last thing that you'd want is a catcher that is prone to mental lapses.
I'm not going to give a comparison for a 19-year-old that I have hardly seen. He might stick at catcher, he might be a first baseman. He might always be big bodied but he might slim down. Let's be more responsible than that and check back with Soto at the end of the season. What I do know is that his future is made bright by a great approach and discipline at the plate that bodes well for his progression through the system.
Thank you to Fangraphs for their statistical assist.
Thank you for reading!