The Curious Case of Geovany Soto
Earlier today I submitted a pop quiz question in our Shout Box asking which Cub starters topped the team list in on-base percentage. Rob quickly came through with Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot (1st and 3rd respectively), but had to look to see who the other guy was.
I wouldn't have been able to name Fontenot had I been asked the question yesterday, so kudos to Rob. The only reason I know the answer now is because I was recently looking at the peripheral statistical performance of the third man in the Cub OBP trio, Geovany Soto.
To say the least, Soto has taken an interesting approach to his plate appearances thus far this year. His batting average is poor, with only four hits so far this year. But the on-base percentage is super, at .423 currently.
Soto has walked in 27% of his plate appearances thus far, more than double his career rate. It's all he can do with what pitchers have been throwing him lately, which isn't much at all.
In fact, only 41% of the pitches Soto has seen so far this year have been strikes. And as a credit to him, he's taking the vast majority of those pitches -- which translates to his having swung at only 30% of the pitches thrown to him. That's well below the league average rate of 45%.
That's kind of a lot of numbers, but basically what it means is that Soto's average is pretty low because he hasn't had very many strikes thrown to him yet. That may not change as long as he's stashed away in the 8th spot in the lineup.
Would it be crazy to move Fukudome to leadoff, Soto to the 2nd spot, and hit Theriot 8th instead?