Oakland A’s may not have long to wait for Tyler Soderstrom
By David Hill
In most cases, a catcher drafted out of high school will take years before they become a factor. They need to learn the nuances of the professional game, adjust from hitting weaker pitching, and learn the ins and outs on defense. Then there is Oakland A’s first round selection Tyler Soderstrom.
Just a look at Soderstrom’s swing makes one dream of what could be. As one watches him take batting practice, it is easy to forget that he is just 19 years old.
Tyler Soderstrom may not take as long as one would expect
Usually, it takes years before the offensive side of a catcher develops. We see it with the younger catchers heading to the majors all the time, where the defense is ready, but the bat lags behind for a few years. That should not be the case with Soderstrom.
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His ability with the bat has caught the attention of everyone on the A’s. Manager Bob Melvin stated that he is “beyond his years” when it comes to his development at the plate. His confidence in his game is also noted, and he learned a great deal during his time at the A’s alternate camp during the summer.
At this point, it seems to be a matter of how quickly Soderstrom’s defense will improve as to how quickly he will progress through the A’s system. While he is quick and athletic with a strong arm, he is still a work in progress with the glove. He is raw when it comes to blocking pitches and calling a game, something which he will learn in his time in the minors.
If his defense comes along quickly, Soderstrom may not need to spend as much time in the minors as other high school catchers. The bat appears to already be close, so it is just a matter of his defense getting up to speed. As the A’s have been able to develop plenty of solid defensive catchers over the years, that should not be an issue.
Tyler Soderstrom may not take as much time as one would expect. The Oakland A’s could find themselves with yet another impressive young catcher soon.