LA Angels Add Infielder Elliot Soto on Minor League Deal
The LA Angels made headlines today with their signing on Julio Teheran on a one-year, $9 million contract. However, Billy Eppler also made an under-the-table move that could prove to be valuable.
The aforementioned move was the signing of Elliot Soto. If you’ve never heard of Soto, that’s by no fault of your own. He has been stuck in the minor leagues for about ten years now, but could find himself making his MLB debut soon.
The 30-year old has always been a plus defender despite his size (he stands at just 5’9″ and weighing 160 pounds), but his bat has just never been solid enough to earn a major league call up. However, in 2019, that narrative changed.
Soto started showing signs of an enhanced offensive game in 2018, when he hit .286 in 81 games for the Colorado Rockies’ AAA affiliate. In 2019, he went on to hit .305 over the course of an entire season. He also tallied on 22 doubles, ten triples, and ten home runs. He’s currently playing for Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League, where he seems to be doing just fine.
Soto is still a long shot to make the 40-man roster, much less Opening Day roster, out of Spring Training. This could be a move that winds up just being a depth signing for the Angels. However, if Soto’s bat continues to play this well in Spring Training, the Angels could have something special in their infield.
Anthony Rendon, Andrelton Simmons, and David Fletcher are entrenched as the starters at the three positions Soto can play. Tommy La Stella and Luis Rengifo are the main backups after that All Star trio. However, as Angels fans know all too well, injuries happen far too often. Maybe he isn’t a big leaguer on Opening Day, but Elliot Soto could very well be starting for the Angels at some point this season.
What he does with that opportunity will be interesting to see. It honestly seems like his bat has turned a corner after all of these years, and the day that Elliot Soto steps on the mound will be a huge moment for him and baseball, as Soto is the rare minor leaguer who survives year after year after year, and now on the wrong side of 30 is closer to the MLB than ever before.