The Oakland A’s had high hopes for Tyler Soderstrom after drafting him in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. Considered an athletic, but raw catcher, he was billed as a bat first prospect, someone who could move up the ladder reasonably quickly for a high school player. It was just a matter of whether or not he would live up to that billing.
Soderstrom’s promising first season in the minors has hit a slight roadblock. He was placed on the Injured List due to a back issue, which may spell the end of his season.
Tyler Soderstrom placed on Injured List
If that is the case, Soderstrom’s first professional season was everything the A’s could have hoped for from an offensive standpoint. He had posted a .306/.390/.568 batting line in his 257 plate appearances, hitting 20 doubles and 12 homers. Those numbers were impressive for any first year player, let alone a 19 year old in full season ball.
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That production would seem to indicate that Soderstrom will take the next step up the ladder next year. He was excellent offensively, living up to his billing with his ability to make hard contact to all fields. His power, which was expected to take a bit longer to manifest, had begun to develop over the course of the season.
Obviously, Soderstrom having back issues at 19 years old is going to be concerning. However, it is not noted as to exactly what those issues are. He may have simply twisted wrong, leading to a pulled muscle or a strain. Those back issues do not necessarily mean that something major has gone wrong.
If those issues are related to his work behind the plate, that could be an impetuous to get Soderstrom time elsewhere. It had already been thought that he could move to third or a corner outfield position if his defense does not develop. His bat could play at such a position and he does have the athleticism to handle a defensive change.
Tyler Soderstrom has landed on the Injured List with a back issue. His strong first professional season may have come to an early end.