As I look at the calendar and see the pages switch to September, its hard to believe that this season is just about over. It doesn’t seem like very long ago the thrill of the beginning of Spring Training was here, and now we will have to switch focus to the offseason. In any event there is still plenty of ball to be played, and still plenty of players to produce and turn heads. Will all that said, with he performance this past week, Neftali Soto of the Syracuse Chiefs has been named the CNY Baseball Player of the Week. Soto went 10-for-28 (.357) this week, with five runs scored, a double, three home runs, and five RBI for the Chiefs.
Soto was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the third round of the 2007 draft, out of Colgeio Marista in Puerto Rico. Since that time, Soto has bounced around to a few different teams before finding his way into the Washington Nationals organization in February of 2016. The 28-year old has seen some major league action but its a small sample size. He made his MLB debut on May, 18 2013 as a member of the Reds against the Philadelphia Phillies. His very first plate appearance was the next day against the Phillies, and he would appear in 11 more games for the Reds that season.
Neftali would start the 2014 season with the Reds and would collect his first major league hit on April 14th against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It would also count as his first extra-base hit since it was a double off Wandy Rodriguez. He would appear in 17 more games that season which would wind up being has last for the Reds. He would be traded in the offseason for cash to the Chicago White Sox. He would play in 53 games with the White Sox top minor league team the Charlotte Knights before being released at the end of the 2015 season. The Nationals signed him to a minor league deal the following offseason.
Soto spent half of the 2017 campaign with the Nationals Double-A team the Harrisburg Senators before making his way to the Chiefs by the end of June. Since his call-up, Soto is hitting .296 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI. He doesn’t strikeout all that much (17%) which is pretty consistent with his career statistics. He has played just about everywhere on the diamond this season for Syracuse with the exception of centerfield and catcher. Soto isn’t currently on the Nationals 40-man roster but I feel there is a chance of him being a September call-up once rosters expand.
Congrats to Neftali Soto for being named CNY Baseball Player of the Week for the week of August 25th to August 31st.
Even though the week was a slight disappointment for the Syracuse Cheifs, Soto’s teammate Brandon Snyder had a good week for himself. Matching Soto’s three bombs, Snyder went 8-for-22 and added seven RBI. He has a current 7-game hitting streak going and his average has climbed from .246 to .266 since the beginning of August. Snyder is hitting .364 in his last 10 games and could also be looked at as a depth player once rosters expand.
Rochester pitcher Aaron Slegers continues to have a nice season. He picked up his 14th win at the beginning of the week with an eight-inning performance where he struck out 10. On the season he is 14-4 with an ERA of 3.37. Staying on the rubber, the Chiefs got a good week out of Neal Cotts who picked up a hold in three appearances this week without allowing a hit.
***Photo By Danny Tripodi of Syracuse Chiefs***