Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rafael Soto, Someday Play - 3294

Signed by the Cubs out of his native Dominican Republic, a 17-year-old Rafael Soto looked forward to getting on the field. He also looked forward to what he hoped was a successful career, according to his ProCards card back.

"I'm happy to play in a large, supportive town," Soto is quoted as saying on his card back. "Before coming here, I played in my native Dominican Republic. I want to someday play in Wrigley Field."

Soto played that year with the Cubs at rookie Huntington. He then played the next three seasons in the Cubs system. He never got to play in Wrigley Field, or anywhere else in the majors.

Soto's professional career began that year, signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent, out of his native Dominican Republic.

In that first season at Huntington, Soto got into 42 games, picking up just five hits in 59 at bats, for a .085 average.

For 1991, the teen moved to single-A Peoria, improving his average to .202 on the year over 108 games. He knocked in 19 runs and stole eight bases. He also picked up 11 sacrifices, still tied for 12th all time for Peoria.

In one July game, in front of a packed house for a Rick Sutcliffe rehab start, Soto picked up three hits, scoring twice and knocking in one, according to Malamut.net.

In 1992, Soto moved to high-A Winston-Salem. There, he hit .235 over 93 games. In one April game, though, he picked up three hits and knocked in three in a 17-11 Winston-Salem win.

Soto played just one more season, back at single-A Peoria in 1993. He hit .236 with 25 RBI and 17 sacrifices, ending his career. Those 17 sacrifices, though, continue to be the fourth most in Peoria history.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:1,218
Made the Majors: 691 - 56.7%
Never Made Majors: 527-43.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 297
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 177

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