Franklin Soto

Position: SS
Level: Extended Spring Training
Affiliate: XST Cardinals
League: Extended Spring Training
Born: 09/23/1999 (Age: 24)
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 168
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: Signed as International Free-Agent July 2nd, 2016

Prospect Spotlight

Now 19-years-old, Soto signed with the Cardinals on the first day of the 2016 international period for $550K. He’s a quick-twitch athlete with much more present physicality than a 5-foot-11 and 168-pound listing would immediately suggest, with broad shoulders and a high, trim waist. A two-year veteran of the DSL, he held his own in 2017 as a 17-year-old and came back last summer with an even stronger performance, slashing .305/.402/.421 with 23 steals and more walks (38) than strikeouts (31). Stateside for the first time in Extended Spring Training, he’s turning heads with a well-rounded toolset that has a chance to stay at shortstop.

Soto has impressive actions in the middle infield that get your attention, light on his feet with easy first-step quickness in both directions. He’ll flash above-average raw arm-strength that plays down due to limited footwork and present accuracy, though both problems are easily correctable with continued reps. Offensively, Soto has a quick swing that generates hard pullside game contact. While there isn’t a ton of over-the-fence power, the batspeed and wiry strength are present to drive the gaps. DSL numbers don’t mean too much, but his walk rates last year do show up in the scouting report by way of a patient approach that grinds out at-bats. He shrinks his zone with two strikes and has the barrel-control to spoil pitches to stay alive.

Soto’s athleticism, center-diamond profile, and tools on both sides of the ball already place him in the FV 40 tier despite having yet to appear in an official game outside the DSL. He will likely head to the GCL or Appalachian League once short-season ball gets started.