Cubs' Geovany Soto Named NL Rookie of the Year
Photo courtesy Charles Rex Arbogast/AP & MLB
Cubs catcher Geovany Soto was named National League Rookie
of the Year Monday by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Soto garnered 31 of the 32 1st
place votes cast to receive an honor well deserved. He batted .285 with 26 homers and 86 RBIs. He's the first catcher to win the honor in 15
years, when Mike Piazza won.
Soto is also the first Cub to win it since Kerry Wood in
1998. Not only are his hitting stats
impressive, Soto also knows how to handle a veteran pitching staff. The Cubs finished with the 3rd
lowest RA in the National League.
"For a young catcher, he handles pitchers as well as
anybody I've been around," Chicago pitching coach Larry Rothschild said.
Geovany had an unbelievable season - first rookie catcher to
start an All-Star game, twice NL Rookie of the Month, first to rookie catcher
to hit at least 30 doubles and 20 homers in a single season, and he caught
Carlos Zambrano's no-hitter in September.
He's nothing if not modest. "I
just want to win ballgames, and this is all extra," Soto said after the
historic game against the Houston Astros. "This is awesome. Enough about
me, it's [Carlos'] day. He was pitching, and he deserves all the credit."
From the time he was three, Soto's dad was behind him. "If it wasn't for my dad, I wouldn't be
here," Soto said. "Sometimes it was tough love. I wanted to be riding
my bike and enjoying my childhood, but he got on top of me and said, 'You need
to work out, you need to stay on top of things.' Now I understand why he did
it. He knew he had a son who could make it and could be pretty good. He didn't
want me to throw that opportunity away.
The award is well deserved.
Congrats to you, Geovany!
Now, if we can just get Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame...