Scouting Twins Prospect #40: Alexander Soto

The Minnesota Twins signed Alexander Soto in the winter of 2005, and he has since become one of the better catching prospects in the organization. This past season, he was an offensive leader for the Elizabethton Twins, as his ten home runs helped the team to the league championship.

Name: Alexander Soto
Position: Catcher
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 165
Bats: Both
Throws: Right

The Minnesota Twins signed Alexander Soto as a non-drafted free agent on February 23, 2005. A native of the Dominican Republic, Soto played two seasons with the Dominican Summer League Twins, though he did not perform quite as well as the Twins expected. After batting .216 and .221 respectively in 2005 and 2006, Soto made the jump to the Gulf Coast League, where he began to develop as a player.

In 22 games with the Gulf Coast League Twins, Soto batted .273, smacking two home runs, while notching five doubles. He would end the season by playing in seven games with the Fort Myers Miracle, playing very well behind the plate, while batting at a .250 clip. He nearly had a hit per game, and the older prospects were very impressed with the way he called the game.

In 2008, Soto would be a member of the Appalachian League champion Elizabethton Twins, where he would be the team's regular catcher. Appearing in 31 games, Soto showed power he had never shown before, smacking ten home runs. Driving in nearly a run per game, Soto became a big part of the E-Town lineup, and even hit ten doubles. It was an eye-opening season for Soto, who is likely to be the backstop for the Beloit Snappers in 2009.

Batting and Power. Soto showed incredible power in 2008, displaying pole to pole strength, and hit an incredible ten home runs in only 31 games. However, he also showed gap power, smacking ten doubles. However, he also showed a lack of discipline at the plate, whiffing 40 times. At times it appeared he was swinging for the fences, and that hurt his average. He has struck out nearly once per game during his professional career, so he needs to work on that part of his game.

Baserunning and Speed. After stealing only one base during his professional career, it is a certain that he is never going to lead the league in stolen bases. Though he is a good baserunner, he does not have great speed, and that is to be expected from a catching prospect.

Defense. Soto is a very good defensive catcher, and has one of the better arms in the organization. He does everything well behind the plate, and has thrown out his fair share of runners throughout his career. This would be his strength, as some have rated him as the best defensive catcher in the organization.

ETA. 2012. It took a while for Soto to get used to professional pitching, but I feel that he is going to have a breakout season in 2009. He will likely be the starting catcher for the Beloit Snappers, and is he continues to sting the ball like he did in 2008, then he could have a 20 home run season. One of the better defensive catchers in the organization, Soto can move fast if he can continue to hit the ball well. If he cuts down on his strikeouts, then he is in for a big 2009.

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