38-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The Yankees acquired Soriano from the Cubs to provide a much needed power boost to the lineup and the returns continued to benefit fantasy owners. Over the past four seasons, his OBP has stayed in the...
Alfonso Soriano Contract Information:
Released by the Yankees in July of 2014.
Soriano announced his retirement Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
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|2013 (Multiple Teams)||37||MAJ||CHC/NYY||151||626||581||84||148||67||32||1||34||101||18||9||36||156||0||4||5||.255||.302||.489||.791|
|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Alfonso Soriano||3-Year Averages||146||582||539||67||137||61||30||1||30||99||8||4||35||140||0||3||5||.254||.304||.481||.785|
|Career (View All)||1975||8,395||7,750||1,152||2,095||924||481||31||412||1,159||290||84||496||1,803||9||54||86||.270||.319||.500||.819|
Alfonso Soriano: MLB Games Played By Position
Alfonso Soriano Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|2013 (Multiple Teams)||37||MAJ||CHC/NYY||626||581||5.8%||24.9%||0.23||73%||.292||.234|
|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Alfonso Soriano||3-Year Averages||582||539||6%||24.1%||0.25||74%||.290||.227|
2014 Stat Review for Alfonso Soriano As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2013 (min 400 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Alfonso Soriano: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After an abysmal April where he posted a .513 OPS, Soriano surpassed .900 in three of the next five months. Moreover, his worst month in that stretch was a passable .763 OPS in August, making him a highly productive player for the vast majority of the season. Soriano finished the year with 32 homers and 108 RBI in 151 games and even stole six bases for good measure. Even his defense improved in 2012. Soriano is never going to draw a lot of walks, and his days of stealing double-digit bases are likely behind him for good. But the power has always been there, and with only two years (and $38 million) left on his exorbitant contract, there's a chance the Cubs could finally deal him if Soriano's health holds up. If they don't (and as a 10/5 player Soriano can veto any trade), expect him to be a fixture in left field for the Cubs in 2013.
With three years and $54 million left on Soriano's contract, it's interesting to speculate on what the Cubs' new regime might do. For now, he's likely to open the year as the team's regular left fielder, play below average defense and struggle to get on base. Nonetheless, Soriano still has very good power, and at press time the Cubs' alternatives are an equally flawed Marlon Byrd and/or rookie Brett Jackson whom they might want to keep in the minors at least into June. It's hard to see things getting too much better, but Soriano's going to contribute in homers as long as he gets the at-bats. His days of stealing bases are probably gone for good, however.
Largely healthy, Soriano bounced back from an awful 2009 with a .258/.322/.496 line. That's nowhere close to earning his salary, but at least it was better than replacement value if you overlook his defense. At 35, Soriano won't run as much as he used to, but we could see him improving on last year's five steals now that he's further removed from his 2009 knee surgery. Soriano will begin the year as the team's starting left fielder, but will yield starts to Tyler Colvin, so consider last year's 147 games played his rough ceiling. There's still some power upside here, if you can deal with the injury, playing time and batting average risk.
While Soriano had the worst year of his career in 2009, he still hit 20 homers and stole nine bases in 477 at-bats. The question is whether the drop-off (he hit just .241) is due to age-related decline (he was 33 last year), or to an under-reported (at the time) knee injury he suffered in April while running into the wall to make a catch. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee in September and should be completely recovered in time for camp, but it remains to be seen how often Soriano will run on it. Without infield eligibility or the ability to steal bases, Soriano is just another free-swinging power hitter who can hurt your average. Still, at 34 he's not too old to bounce back and should come at a marked discount from seasons past.
Soriano missed 54 games last year with a calf injury and broken hand, but still somehow managed 29 homers and 19 steals - essentially a repeat of his 2007 counting stats in 126 fewer at-bats. Moreover, Soriano duplicated the career-high walk rate from his monster 2006 season without making his already poor contact rate any worse. In other words, he showed the best plate discipline of his career, and while it's still extremely poor for any normal hitter, any selectivity from a tremendous natural talent like Soriano has the potential to pay big dividends. Just keep in mind that Soriano's calf injury marked the second season in a row that he's gone on the DL with a leg muscle strain - and at age 33, there's a decent chance it'll happen again.
A slow start and a DL stint due to a strained hamstring cost Soriano some counting-stat totals, but on a per game basis, he was every bit the real-life player he was in 2006 during his career year with the Nationals. His walk rate, though still better than his absymal career norms, fell off somewhat, but that was in large part masked by a higher batting average on balls in play. Soriano ran less, and while some of that was probably due to his hamstring injury, he's turning 32 this season, and it wouldn't surprise us to see him tone down that part of his game. There's some batting average downside here, too, but the power hasn't gone anywhere, and he's unlikely to stop running altogether.
Soriano made a mockery of preseason fears that his position switch, or new home stadium, would slow him down at the plate as he rang up his first career 40/40 season. Perhaps more remarkably he even found a little bit of plate discipline in 2006, setting career highs in walks and OBP. Now with the Cubs after a huge free agent payday, it might be too much to ask to expect him to hit 50 home runs just because he's now playing in Wrigley, but if the walks keep coming Soriano will make life as miserable for opposing pitchers as any leadoff hitter since Rickey Henderson.
Soriano rebounded from a subpar 2004 to renew his membership in the 30-30 club. He posted a monstrous 1.011 OPS at home, against .639 on the road, so the trade to Washington could really hurt him. On the plus side, he stole 24 bases in 123 games as the fifth hitter in the Texas lineup, so he put to rest fears that his running game was leaving him.
Despite moving to a better hitter's park in 2004, Soriano disappointed after back-to-back flirts with a 40-40 season. He never really got on track, failing to post an OPS over .851 in any single month, and spent most of the season hitting third in the order, which kept his stolen base totals in check. His 2004 was still a very good season from a roto standpoint, but it pales in comparison to his 2002 and 2003.
Although Soriano's final numbers were extremely impressive, the way he floundered at the end of the year and in the postseason is reason for pause this coming season. The Yankees signed Don Mattingly as the batting coach, partly to straighten out Soriano, whose lack of patience and confidence really stalled the Yankees the last month or two. Make no mistake about it, Soriano is a stud and won't disappoint with the kind of power/speed splits owners drool for. We would monitor his progress in spring training to make sure he's worthy of that early first round selection. The plus is it looks like he will remain NY's starting second baseman, which will allow him to concentrate on his batting eye as opposed to worrying about transitioning to the outfield, as was discussed at one point during the offseason.
Along with Alex Rodriguez, Soriano was one the two most valuable hitters in all of rotoball last season, with 39 home runs, 41 steals and a .300 average -- while occupying a middle infield slot. But perhaps the most shocking (and interesting) thing about Soriano is that he did all of this damage while having perhaps the worst plate discipline (23 BB/157 K) in all of baseball. The question is what to make of a hitter who can't judge a pitch to save his life, still hits .300 and slugs .547? Some would say he's due for a big drop-off, that pitchers will keep throwing him terrible pitches, and that it will be impossible to keep up that level of productivity without some pitch selectivity. But this line of reasoning cuts both ways: if Soriano at age 24 could do that much damage with that little plate discipline, what would happen if he got even a little selective at age 25? And what kind of talent must he have to hit .300 with power while swinging at so many bad pitches? Soriano will command top dollar at 2003 auctions, and while we're not going to say Soriano can't repeat his 2002 numbers, we won't be in on the bidding.