2009 Player Previews - Alfonso Soriano
- The Wheel Man
- Alfonso Soriano - The Modern Day Mr. Cub
- Piniella/Soriano batting order red herring
- The 2008 Season Recap - Alfonso Soriano
Hoppy McHopperson tantalized us this offseason with rumors of a possible decent deeper into the heart of the batting order and out of the leadoff spot...only to have those rumors shot down days earlier.
Now going into 2009, Alfonso Soriano appears to ready to terrorize opposing pitchers and his own fan base from the No. 1 spot yet again.
While we could sit here and debate where Soriano should hit in the order for days on end, we’re going to just focus on looking ahead to this upcoming season.
Since coming to the Cubs two seasons ago, there seems to be one consistent theme to the Soriano story: He will get hurt.
So now that we can all expect Fonsie to limp off the field at some point this year, let’s not freak out when it happens.
Despite only playing in 109 games last season, Soriano still led the team in homers (29) and the Cubs enjoyed quite a bit of success without him.
That being said, there should be no worries. The guy will still produce and the Cubs should be able to sustain themselves without #12 roaming the outfield.
Although some reporters were writing about Soriano looking fresher and having more energy than he has had the past few years, I tend to take this information with a grain of salt and a bullsh!t card.
We’ve all anxiously been waiting for the 40/40 Soriano circa 2006 to reappear, but it ain’t going to happen friends. That Fonsie is long dead and gone. What we’re left with is a dinger-smashing strikeout artist who loves to make every routine catch into dramatic theatrical production. The speed isn’t there anymore and he’s too fragile to play enough games to hit 40. He got older and his production dropped. That’s what humans not on steroids do.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however. I fully expect Soriano to put up nearly 30 homers this season (can you imagine if that power was being generated from the fifth or sixth spot in this batting order...anger rising) and to hit somewhere near .280 again. Hell, the guy might even steal 25-30 bases if he can stay healthy for nearly a full season. And while it’s easy to predict those numbers based on his past performances, his stats also suggest that we shouldn’t expect anything more.
So I guess it’s a given. The guy is going to bat leadoff, hit homers and eventually get hurt. Same story, different year, lots of hopping.