Sep 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers catcherGeovany Soto
(8) waves to the dugout after hitting a two run double in the sixth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers beat the Angels 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
We took a poll here at NolanWritin.com on who you, the fans, think will have the biggest impact on the Texas Rangers this season. The results surprised me a bit, since the winner was projected back up catcher J.P. Arencibia. Arencibia won by a margin of five votes over Michael Choice, and this led me to wonder if Texas Rangers fans don’t trust Geovany Soto to be the guy that the pitching staff relies on going forward into 2014.
We all know that Yu Darvish likes throwing to Geo, and we know that he is a pretty decent defensive catcher, but his offensive numbers have been lacking a little bit since his rookie year. He did have a nice stretch to end last season, showing the Texas Rangers that he still has some potential for power and he can get on base, but was that enough to convince the fan base that he is the guy to be behind the dish most of the time? In 2013 Soto had a line of .245/.328/.466 with 9 home runs and 22 RBI in just 184 plate appearances.
On the flip side Arencibia saw 497 plate appearences and had a line of .194/.227/.365 with 21 home runs and 55 RBI. Arencibia was the main catcher for the Blue Jays last season, and he is known for having power but not a lot of patience. Lets compare. Arencibia hit a home run 4% of the time he came to the plate, Soto hit a home run 5% of the time. Soto worked a walk 11% of the time while Arencibia worked a walk just 3% of the time. Also, they strike out at about the same pace. Arencibia is also younger.
So why did Texas Rangers fans pick Arencibia over Soto? My belief is that it is because Texas Rangers fans have seen Soto over the last season and a half on a very consistant basis where they have only see Arencibia a couple of times with the Jays. I have a feeling that Soto is going to be your opening day starting catcher, but the duties will be split pretty even by the end of the season. Unless of course one of the two of them really gets hot, and then we all know that Ron Washington likes to ride the hot hand. To be honest, neither the name Soto or Arencibia really fills me with confidence that we have a great catcher, but I really hope that one of them proves me wrong.