Soto is ROY, nothing else to report
With 31 out of 32 first place votes, Geovany Soto was awarded the National League Rookie of the Year Award today. The single 1st place vote that he didn't receive went to Joey Votto of the Reds.
It's so rare for the Cubs to develop offensively talented players as it is, but Soto is the first home-grown catcher to have any success since the one-year wonder year of Rick Wilkins, and before him probably Randy Hundley. Seriously, when the best catcher of your team's history played in the years of the Great Depression, you know that you're long, loooong overdue.
Not only was Soto the best rookie in baseball this past season, but I won't be surprised to see him receive a few MVP votes as well. Certainly he has no chance of winning, but on the Cubs there was no single player who meant more to the team than Soto. It's hard enough for a catcher to call a good game and to be effective defensively, but Soto also put up some of the best offensive numbers of any catcher in baseball this past season. His OPS of .868 was second only to Atlanta's Brian McCann amongst catchers who had more than 500 plate appearances in '08.
Soto was also 4th among all catchers in fielding percentage in 2008, he gunned out roughly 26% of all attempted base stealers (putting him in the top 10), and his catcher ERA was the 3rd best in baseball.
I'm a bit of a baseball cynic, so I'm not willing to bet that Soto has an equally good - or better - 2009, but it would be hard to expect him to do worse. The Cubs are fortunate to have him for the next half decade, and I'm looking forward to seeing his accomplishments.
I mean, hey, it's like I said - the Cubs almost never develop a hitter, and they haven't developed a catcher since the dust bowl. Soto is special, 'nuff said.