Soriano new Yank tablesetter?
Updated: March 25, 2002, 8:42 AM ETBy by Jim Baker
Where have all the good leadoff hitters gone? That has been the theme of several articles in the past year and a question that continues to vex a game in search of its next generation of Rickey Henderson-style get-on-base guys at the top of its batting orders. The answer to that question is not coming out of the Yankees' camp, where there is some belief that second baseman Alfonso Soriano may well be hitting in the top hole in 2002. Soriano is a fine player and a rising star but seemingly ill-suited to be the man one would want setting the table for Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams. His 2001 OBP of .304 was a black mark in an otherwise nicely played rookie season. Eighty-eight percent of that OBP came from batting average, so any kind of downturn in hitting without a significant improvement in walks would make for some empty bases when the pinstripers with the big bats come to the plate. While Soriano has been talking the plate discipline talk, he ain't been walking the walks. In fact, he has only one this spring, something of a turnaround from the second half of last season when it seemed as though he was becoming more selective.
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