Find a Home For Tyler Soderstrom
As one of the top prospects in the organization, expectations for Tyler Soderstrom are high. The 2020 first round draft pick breezed through the A’s minor league system, posting a .957 OPS in Single-A Stockton in 2021, followed by an .825 mark between High-A Lansing and Double-A Midland in 2022. After spending the first half of this year at Triple-A Las Vegas, Soderstrom struggled to a .160/.232/.240 line in 45 games in Oakland. A 31% strikeout rate coupled with an extremely low .213 BABIP led to a disappointing first trip to the big leagues.
Soderstrom hit well enough in the minors that some positive regression is expected. He should be a bit better, and a bit luckier, in 2024. However, despite getting the bulk of his playing time in the minors behind the plate, Soderstrom might not be a viable major league catcher. His blocking and receiving skills are not well regarded and with Shea Langeliers as the primary backstop, Soderstrom might need to find a new home.
The primary issue is that Ryan Noda seems to have the first base job in hand, and while you want Brent Rooker’s bat in the lineup, he isn’t a defensive wizard in the outfield. Getting Soderstrom reps at first base and using the trio in a revolving door platoon seems the most likely outcome, but it would be nice to have some additional clarity on what Soderstrom’s role is going to be heading into 2024.