Welcome to the list, Tyler Soderstrom. We've been expecting you.
MLB Pipeline updated their list of top 100 prospects with the 19-year-old rounding it out at No. 100 after Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena has graduated from being a prospect.
It’s well-deserved, as the lefty power-hitting catcher didn’t waste any time making his presence and confidence known during big league camp this spring. He felt good and said he could “hang with anyone right now,” and looks forward to showing everyone.
Pipeline has Soderstrom’s ETA to the bigs set at 2024, but you never know what could happen until then.
“How Soderstrom progresses with his blocking and game management -- two areas he is still raw in -- will determine his long-term position,” Pipeline noted. “He has already shown off a strong arm, which helps his cause.”
A’s director of player personnel Ed Sprague gushed about Soderstrom, the A’s No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, calling Soderstrom the best pick of the organization over the last five years. That has a lot to do with his plate discipline and his ability to approach handling a pitching staff with maturity. That came in handy as he caught starters Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt and Daulton Jefferies during the spring.
Jefferies and Soderstrom are more than familiar with one another.
Steve Soderstrom, Tyler’s dad, played in the bigs briefly with the Giants in 1996. Jefferies took pitching lessons from Steve in Turlock, and Tyler would pay extra close attention to Jefferies’ career when he played at Cal. The fact that the two were reunited last year was the icing on the cake.
Soderstrom was named California’s Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year for 2019-20 even with the shortened season due to the coronavirus pandemic. He hit .357 with one home run across five games.