From Hero to Zero: The Tale of Geovany Soto's Continued Struggles

Chris GreccoContributor IMay 17, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 22: Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds is tagged out on a squeeze play by Geovany Soto #18 of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 22, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There are some things in Major League Baseball that simply are just astounding.

From some of the bizarre unwritten rules about where not to walk on the field, to the outlandish contracts given to players who fail 70 percent of the time, baseball doesn't always make sense.

We are in a fortunate year for the sport, where we are seeing the emergence of some of the most talented players in some time coming into the big leagues and succeeding, as fans bear witness to the talents of Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.

It makes you wonder sometimes, how players can just simply disappear from the spotlight.

Enter: Geovany Soto, the once-promising catcher of the Chicago Cubs, who now posts a dismal sub-.200 batting average and disappears when the team needs him the most.

Soto became an integral member of the Cubs back in 2008, a season in which he became the first rookie catcher to start for the National League in the All-Star game. The future looked bright, as Soto was working well with the pitching staff as well as producing at the plate. Unfortunately for the Cubs, this productivity would soon begin to fade at a rapid pace.

After his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2008, his batting average dropped to the low .200s, however, the following season, in a contract year, he showed once again that he had the capabilities to be a solid investment, and the Cubs rewarded him with a nice contract.

This contract would be just another bad move by the Cubs, as Soto would soon showed that he is not the player the Chicago brass thought he would be.

In the 2012 campaign, Soto has continued to struggle and has shown that, besides his above-average defense, he offers very little value to the Cubs and the direction they are headed as an organization.

Soto's plate discipline has dropped off from early in his career and he just cannot keep up with the dominant pitchers in the league now. Aside from that, he is clearly the slowest player on the Cubs, an organization which has a new mentality of being a hustle team, something that Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger would provide much better value to.

The Cubs are in a position where they need to evaluate their talent and decide who is going to be included in their five-year plan.

My personal belief is that they should start to make the necessary changes and give young guys a chance to show their worth. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer should look to move Soto to the Nationals, with an eye towards bolstering the less-than-stellar pitching staff, who could definitely use some good, young arms, especially in the bullpen. 

Soto's career is just another curious case of a player coming into the league with all the promise in the world, only to pull an anti-Hercules, turning back into a mortal being.