Soto is a such bum and the reason why he’s doing well right now is because he’s not throwing ANY off speed. He’s pretty much a one trick pony, he throws a fastball and a sinker that averages 98. Big whoop. His slider completely blows, and really majority of his advanced metrics are down from last year, he’s basically banking on the horizontal movement of his fastball and that’s it. He has horrible vertical movement on his pitches. His fastball usage is up nearly 35%, his sinker usage is down 20% and his slider usage is down 20% as well.
His FIP is nearly a run higher, and he’s gotten so lucky in a ton of situations, and you can tell he barely pitches with confidence out there. The second he gets hit, or hits a batter, or walks a guy, he breaks down until he luckily gets a double play, or lucks out of it. I’m just waiting, WAITING, for batters to wait on his fastball, because he has pretty horrid control this season, (I mean it is technically better than last season, at a 10.4% BB% compared to a 14.5%) but also he’s hit 7 guys this season, and once they start letting him miss the zone with his fastball, and forcing him to use his garbage slider he will start giving up home runs and blowing more games. His xERA is a 4.08, he has one of the lowest percentile rankings for exit velocity while tossing a fastball that is in the 98th percentile. His WHIP is only down .100 overall. He has a 0.3 HR rate this season compared to a 1.0 overall, while maintaining his average FB rate, however he is generating mainly straight line contact (nearly 20% higher) in Comerica, once batters start pulling the ball? Once players start making him throw his slider that has a 318 BA? He doesn’t strike out as many guys as you’d think for a dude hucking 98. Oh that’s because he can’t set it up at all with zero off speed usage. He lets up a lot of hard contact, has a middle line chase rate, he has like a 3.0% HR/FB rate, while managing a 92+ MPH EV, a 9.0% barrel rate, and a 45%ish barrel rate. I could go on, just peak at his baseball savant page, and you can just see the obvious, such obvious flaws. Once that horizontal movement fades on his fastball and sinker (his sinker isn’t really even that effective of a pitch, like he has a low BA on the pitch, but it’s nowhere near a pure strikeout pitch, he’s got like a 17% K rate on it) and teams force him to use his slider he’s toast.
He’s literally just humming in fastballs and getting lucky. Al would be an idiot (I mean he already is, he’s nearly won none of his trades, like the Jaimer trade, and I guess the Lange trade) not to trade him and get him out of here.
Why are we asking for so much, clearly teams see his flaws and would be stupid to give up multiple MLB talent for this guy. Please Al, get him out of Detroit! I’d take a little Caesar’s pizza coupon and a bucket of baseballs for this tire fire waiting to happen.