MLB week

August 06, 2006

A scout's take

On Alfonso Soriano, Washington Nationals 30-year-old left fielder

Swing -- I see Hank Aaron the way he swings the bat. Soriano's not a classic power hitter. But you look at Hank Aaron on film and he was a wrist hitter who just whips the bat. Soriano's a wrist hitter, too. That's the closest parallel I can give you.

Mind, body-- He really has fun playing the game. He enjoys playing baseball. And he's got the type of body that will stay in shape. He'll never get too big, and he's athletic enough to be OK in the outfield.

This season -- I think everybody thought he would probably struggle some with all the changes [a new league, a new position, a spacious ballpark]. I didn't see him in the tank with eight or nine homers, but he exceeded more than I thought and baseball thought. He is a proven commodity. If I were [Washington], I'd keep him.

Note -- "A scout's take" features one major league scout's opinion on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts are anonymous.

Say what?

"I could have been inside the Duquesne Light Co. and it wouldn't have made any difference."

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland on whether playing under major league lights would have made him a better hitter. He batted .222 in the minors and never made it to the big leagues.

Numbing number


How many game-winning, or "walk-off," homers Boston slugger David Ortiz has hit since the beginning of the 2004 postseason. In 19 plate appearances in those situations, he has reached base 16 times and is 11-for-14 in official at-bats.

What's up?

An amazing matchup week in the American League. The Detroit Tigers host the Minnesota Twins for three games starting tomorrow, then visit the Chicago White Sox for a weekend series. The White Sox host the New York Yankees from Tuesday to Thursday before the Yankees return home for four games against the Los Angeles Angels starting Friday. The Oakland A's host Texas for three games starting tomorrow, and the Toronto Blue Jays are in Minnesota for four games beginning Thursday. The National League's best clash has the St. Louis Cardinals in Cincinnati for four games starting tomorrow.

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