Plate Discipline Key to Alfonso Soriano's Hot Start

Pat De Marco @@patdemarco01Correspondent IApril 19, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 13:  Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Colorado Rockies during the Opening Day game on April 13, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Rockies 4-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Maybe it's just me, but there appears to be something different about Alfonso Soriano this year.  The Cubs left fielder appears to be much more patient at the plate, and it's paying off in a big way. 

Coming off back-to-back solid seasons, Soriano did very little in April in both 2007 and 2008.  He combined for just two home runs and six RBI with a total of eight walks in 20 games. 

Things have been much different in the early going this season.  In just 11 games, Soriano has two game winning home runs in the Cubs last at bat.  He also has a game tying eighth inning home run, and two lead off home runs. 

While his home runs have been very impressive, his ability to draw walks has caught my attention.  The 33-year-old left fielder has drawn eight walks in the Cubs first 11 games. 

Soriano's overall numbers are very impressive.  He's hitting .292 with an OBP of .393 with two stolen bases. 

It all starts with plate discipline.  If Soriano continues to be patient at the plate, he's going to continue to see good pitches. Quality at bats has been the key to his hot start, and if that continues Soriano will have a huge season.   

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Doing it with his eyes, legs, and bat Soriano is a big reason why the Cubs are off to a 7-4 start.