Tyler Soderstrom Puts On A Show For A's Officials
When catcher Tyler Soderstrom showed up at the Athletics' alternate training site camp, he provided a big surprise.
He was surprisingly big.
Soderstrom had been listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds during the draft process. However, he was an inch taller and 15 pounds heavier with well-proportioned muscle, according to A's farm director Ed Sprague Jr.
As players at the site work out, some with hopes of reaching the majors this year, Soderstrom put on a show.
“He’s been great. He can really swing the bat,” Sprague said. “He has an advanced approach for a guy his age. He understands the strike zone.”
The Athletics drafted Soderstrom with the 26th pick in the first round in 2020 out of Turlock (Calif.) High. He is the only member of Oakland's draft class invited to the camp at San Jose Municipal Stadium.
The 18-year-old has already made a big impression with his bat.
“He hits them out all day long during batting practice,” Sprague said. “He has hit two homers during our intrasquad games.”
While it is difficult to evaluate from batting practice and intrasquad games, Sprague said the indication is that Soderstrom appears to possess a plus hit tool and power.
The lefthanded hitter’s proficiency with the bat could lead to some further consideration at multiple positions. He signed as a catcher and has expressed a desire to remain at the position. However, he has the athleticism to play corner infield or outfield should the A’s need to keep his bat in the lineup.
That will be a decision for the future. Right now, he is working behind the plate.
“He has the skill set,” Sprague said. “Very good hands. There’s work to be done, but he’s further along than I thought he’d be.”
Soderstrom's father Steve, a righthander, was the sixth overall pick in the 1993 draft by the Giants and pitched briefly in the majors. Soderstrom hails from a prominent family that pioneered turkey farming in the area.
— Sprague said that one of the highlights of the camp has been the professionalism of the older veteran players, who have worked hard to prepare in the event they are needed in the majors. They have also continually helped the younger players in camp. Infielders Eric Campbell and Nate Orf and catcher Carlos Perez have continually provided help to the youngsters with the nuances of the game.