Is Geovany Soto this season’s biggest disappointment?


Answer: yes. After the best rookie season posted by a catcher since Mike Piazza hit 35 home runs in 1993, Geovany Soto has mutated into a bench player making a B line straight for the minors. This isn’t just a sophomore slump — this is Puff Daddy’s Forever, “Caddyshack II,” season 2 of “Heroes.” This is Daniel Baldwin.

In 2009, Soto played in 141 games, hitting .285 and racking up 23 dingers, 86 RBIs, and 66 runs. He quickly established himself as the fourth offensive threat on the Cubs behind Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Alfonso Soriano. As of this writing, Soto is hitting .218 with nine long balls, 31 RBIs, and 21 runs. He’s also losing playing time to a guy named “Koyie,” who has a career batting average of .211 and had never played over 36 games in a season before 2009. Sweet Lou has even lost faith in young Geo, sitting him every other game.

So what’s wrong? Is it a nagging oblique strain? Is it all that pot he was smoking? Even the fantasy experts are at a loss, citing that Soto is still hitting for contact and working better counts. Personally, I think it’s a confidence issue. Chicago is a tough place to play. Though Cubs fans are affectionate to those who earn it, they can be ruthless if you are currently the definition of “suck.” I specifically remember them booing Kosuke Fukudome in last year’s NLCS. (Yet, this year they love him, despite putting up mediocre numbers. Beats me.) Milton Bradley is another fine example. However, it seems like Cubs fans want Soto to succeed and are holding out hope that he can get it going down the stretch. After all, it’s damn hard to come by a consistent, young catcher who’s skilled both offensively and defensively. Look at how many teams employ a rotating duo of catchers based on their opponent that day. That irritates me and it’s a pain in the ass for fantasy owners. Even though Russell Martin is working through some struggles this year, the kid has the genuine talent that will carry him through. He, Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, and Brian McCann are the definition of what a premier catcher should be in the MLB. I like Soto, and I want him to get back to this level.

For the record, there’s a big difference between “disappointment” and “bust.” People had high expectations for Soto and he’s not meeting them. Milton Bradley and Pat Burrell are inconsistent, overpaid busts.

I apologize to Daniel Baldwin. He was cool in “The Sopranos.”

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