But on Thursday night, he absolutely shined on the other side of the ball.
With no outs in the top of the eighth inning and the Baltimore Orioles down 5-2, Manny Machado came to the plate with no one against Yankees reliever David Robertson.
Machado turned on a Robertson offering, belting it high and deep toward left field.
He didn't count on Soriano committing robbery.
Soriano's sick catch temporarily saved the lead for the Yankees. But Robertson would falter later in the inning, giving up a three-run homer to Danny Valencia to tie the game at 5-5.
But Soriano certainly did all he could to preserve the lead with his acrobatic wall-jumping catch.
Fans on Twitter were equally impressed.
Okay we can all agree Alfonso Soriano is a freak of nature after that catch.— Austin Martin (@AustinM1234) September 13, 2013
I actually started screaming when he caught that. I for sure thought it was a homer. Alfonso Soriano was a great acquisition.— Kathryne Davis (@nyyankee04) September 13, 2013
Alfonso Soriano is my new favorite person! That catch was epic!!! So suave!!!— Erica Michelle (@ericamichellee) September 13, 2013
What does Alfonso Soriano eat in the morning and where can i get some?— Joe Sbarra (@Joe_Sbarra) September 13, 2013
Breathing life into a listless Yankees offense, Soriano has been all that and a bag of chips for an offense that was just 13th in the American League in runs scored before his arrival.
They certainly didn't count on him helping out defensively, but Soriano has done just that, with four outfield assists and stellar plays like the one made on Thursday.
Scratch that. He actually made two great plays against the Orioles, making a diving catch to steal extra bases away from Valencia in the fourth inning.
The Yankees came back with a run in the top of the ninth inning to take a 6-5 victory. Turns out that Soriano's catch was a major factor after all.
Doug Mead’s work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.