Alfonso Soriano

Soriano, 2 Cubs MVP's and a few great old-time Cubs

When comparing Cubs players through history, finding the right place to start can be tricky.  For Alfonso Soriano, who played for the Cubs for 7 years (2007-2013), it seemed best to look at Soriano's cumulative WAR as a Cubs player and look at who posted a similar WAR figure as a Cubs outfielder.  It was an interesting mix of players that could be compared to Soriano.

The surprise:

Andre Dawson won the MVP for the Cubs, he's a Hall of Famer (granted, many of his statistics were compiled on other teams) and widely regarded as a great Cubs player.  Soriano's overall numbers seem to be slightly better than Dawson, although it is a very close comparison.   

Soriano had just 176 more PA than Dawson (both as a Cub) so it's a good comparison on total statistics.  Soriano hit just 7 more home runs, drove in 38 more runs, but Dawson scored 61 more runs than Soriano (a little surprising considering that Soriano batted 1st for most of his Cubs career).  The batting average, OBP and slugging are also very close for Soriano & Dawson.  Dawson has a decent advantage in WRC+ of 122-109.  The shocking part of this comparison was that it appears the wildcard that has Soriano with a better WAR than Dawson was his defensive contribution to the WAR figure (Soriano 32.3 to Dawson's -39.2).  I watched both play the outfied for the Cubs, Dawson was not as fast as he was early in his career, but still had a great throwing arm and seemed to be solid in right field while Soriano also had a great throwing arm, but when balls were hit to left field, it seemed to be an adventure quite often.  It's a great comparison to see how close these 2 Cubs are in their careers with the team.

Another Cubs MVP:

Dawson won an MVP as a Cub and Soriano's numbers are similar to another Cubs MVP, this one from 1952, Hank Sauer.  Sauer has the edge over Soriano in nearly every offensive category, but like Dawson, poor defense seemed to drive down his overall WAR figure, giving Soriano just a slight edge in WAR (18.9 to 18.5) in just 130 more plate appearances.  

Past Cubs who relied more on speed and hitting:

Solly Hoffman, Jimmy Slagle & Augie Galan all played for the guys pre-1940 when home runs were not hit nearly as often as they are today, but they all posted WAR numbers similar to Soriano.  All 3 had more stolen bases and a higher batting average than Soriano.  All 4 hitters had a very close WRC+ so their offensive contributions to the Cubs was nearly identical (Galan, 111, Soriano, 109, Hoffman, 109, Slagle, 108).

Birthday: January 7

September 29, 1998:
Purchased by the New York Yankees from Hiroshima Toyo Carp (Japan Central).

February 16, 2004:

Traded by the New York Yankees with a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez and cash.
The New York Yankees sent Joaquin Arias (April 23, 2004) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.

November 20, 2006:
Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs. 

Alfonso Soriano:  This Day in Chicago Cubs History

May 9, 2007
Alfonso Soriano leads off the game with a home run and both the Cubs & Pirates do not score the rest of the game as Jason Marquis pitches a 3-hit shutout retiring the first 16 batters of the game until Don Kelly's single in the sixth inning.  Cubs defeat Pirates 1-0 at Wrigley Field.

June 24, 2007
Cubs defeat the White Sox 3-0 at U.S. Cellular Field.  Sean Marshall & 3 Cubs relievers combine on a 7-hit shutout.  Alfonso Soriano homers for the Cubs.  

July 28, 2007
At Great American Ball Park, Alfonso Soriano homers twice and drives in 5 runs as the Cubs defeat the Reds

September 6, 2007
At Wrigley Field, Alfonso Soriano homers twice and drives in all 4 Cubs runs in a 7-4 loss to the Dodgers. 

September 22, 2007
At Wrigley field, Cubs hit 4 home runs, 2 by Alfonso Soriano, 1 each by Derrek Lee & Aramis Ramirez in a 9-5 win over the Pirates. 

September 28, 2007
The Chicago Cubs clinch the NL Central division title with a 6 - 0 shutout of the Cincinnati Reds, combined with a loss by the Milwaukee Brewers. Alfonso Soriano hits his 32nd home run of the season to lead off the
game. The lead off home run, Soriano's 6th leadoff home run, sets a major league record. It is also Soriano's 13th home run in September tying him with Ernie Banks as the most home runs int he month of September. Soriano will hit his 14th on September 30, 2007.

September 30, 2007
Alfonso Soriano hits his 14th home run of September.  A new team record for the month of September.  


April 15, 2008

Dusty Baker returns to Wrigley Field as the Reds manager.  Another cubs curse perhaps, his #12 counterpart, Alfonso Soriano pulls up lame on a fly ball and leaves the game.  Soriano would return to the Cubs lineup by May 1, however, he was never the type of stolen base threat that he was when the Cubs first signed him.

May 28, 2008, 10 innings

Behind Derek Lowe, the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning until Geovany Soto ties it with a sacrifice fly driving in Ryan Theriot.  In the 10th inning, Alfonso Soriano drives in Mike Fontenot with the walk-off RBI single as Cubs defeat the Dodgers 2-1 at Wrigley Field.  Carlos Zambrano gives up just one run over 8 innings and Jose Ascanio & Bob Howry pitched 2 scoreless relief innings. 

July 13, 2008

Cubs send 8 players to 2008 All star game.  Carlos Marmol replaced injured Kerry Wood.  Ryan Dempster, Kosuke Fukudome, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto & Carlos Zambrano are all-stars as well.

August 29, 2008

Cubs overcome an early 2-0 lead by the Phillies, taking the lead on Alfonso Soriano's 7th inning home run for a 3-2 victory.  It is the Cub's 7th win in a row, giving them a 6 1/2 game lead in the Central division with an 85-50 record.

September 6, 2008

At Great American Ball Park, Alfonso Soriano homers 3 times, Mark DeRosa & Jason Marquis homer as well.  Derrek Lee has 4 hits and 3 RBI in a 14-9 win over the Reds.


April 17, 2009

Trailing 7-6 into the 8th inning, Alfonso Soriano's 2-run home run gives the Cubs an 8-7 win over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. 

April 28, 2009
At Chase Field, the Cubs defeat the Diamondbacks 11-3.  Alfonso Soriano homers and drives in 4 runs.  Mike Fontenot & Carlos Zambrano homer as well for the Cubs. 

May 13, 2009

Field this day. Ted Lilly gives up 2 home runs to the Padres, Adrian Gonzalez. The Cubs hit 4 home runs off Padres pitcher, Chris Young.  Alfonso Soriano leads off the game for the Cubs with a home run and Ryan Theriot follows Soriano's blast with a home run of his own.  Theriot will hit a 2nd home run in the game and Geovany Soto homers as well as Cubs defeat Padres 6 to 4.  Soriano's home run ties the NL record for most leadoff the game home runs, tying Craig Biggio at 53. The major league record is 81 by Rickey Henderson.  It is Soriano's 21st leadoff home run as a Cub which breaks Jimmy Ryan's Cubs team record of 20.

May 16, 2009 

Cubs blow a 4-0 lead in the top of 9th as Lance Berkman & Carlos Lee homer off Kevin Gregg and Ivan Rodriguez's 2-run single ties the game, but Cubs win it 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th on Alfonso Soriano's RBI single scoring Bobby Scales against former Cubs closer, LaTroy Hawkins. 

June 18, 2009 

Trailing 5-1 into the 8th inning, the Cubs tie the game in the 8th on back to back home runs by Derrek Lee & Geovany Soto.  In the 9th inning, Alfonso Soriano wins it for the Cubs with a walk-off RBI single driving in Reed Johnson.

June 19, 2009
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs overcome an early 7-0 lead by the Indians.  Cubs score 4 in the 8th inning and Derrek Lee's 9th inning home run off Kerry Wood ties the game 7-7.  Cubs win it in the 10th inning on Ryan Theriot's walk-off RBI single driving in Alfonso Soriano.  Lee homers twice in the game.  Reed Johnson homers for the Cubs as well. 

July 27, 2009
Cubs & Astros go into extra innings with score tied 1-1 and win it when Alfonso Soriano's 13th inning walk-off grand slam for a 5-1 Cubs victory at Wrigley Field.


April 30, 2010
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs homer 4 times (Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd & Geovany Soto) as they defeat the Diamondbacks 11-5.

May 2, 2010
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Diamondbacks 10-5.  Alfonso Soriano hits 2 home runs and drives in 4 runs.

September 28, 2010
At Petco Park, Alfonso Soriano homers twice in a 5-2 Cubs win over the Padres. 


June 16, 2011
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Brewers 12-7.  Carlos Pena, Kosuke Fukudome & Alfonso Soriano homer for the Cubs

August 2, 2011
Cubs defeat the Pirates 11-6 in Pittsburgh and hit 6 home runs.  2 by Alfonso Soriano, 1 each by Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Marlon Byrd and Tyler Colvin. 


April 24, 2012
At Wrigley Field, Bryan Lahair ties the game in the 9th with a solo home run and Alfonso Soriano's RBI single drives in Tony Campana with for the walk-off 3-2 Cubs victory.  It is the 2nd straight walk-off victory for the Cubs
(4/23/2012, 3-2 on Joe Mather 2-run, walk-off RBI single).

June 5, 2012
At Miller Park, Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair & Jeff Baker homer for the Cubs and Ryan Dempster and 2 Cubs relivers combine on a 5-hit shutout as the Cubs defeat the Brewer 10-0. 

June 29, 2012
At Wrigley Field, Paul Maholm & Carlos Marmol combine on a 4-hit shutout as the Cubs defeat the Astros 4-0.  Luis Valbuena, Steve Clevenger & Alfonso Soriano homer for the Cubs. 

July 13, 2012
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Dbacks 8-1.  Alfonso Soriano goes 4 for 4 with 3 runs scored, 2 home runs, 2 doubles & 5 RBI.

August 9, 2012
Cubs overcome an early 3-1 Reds lead, Starlin Castro's 2-run 6th inning double ties the game and Alfonso Soriano's 8th inning 2-run home run wins it for Cubs 5-3.  Manny Corpas, Shawn Camp & Carlos Marmol pitch 3 scoreless innings to preserve the victory.

August 30, 2012
Cubs 12 Brewers 11
A high scoring game between the Brewers and Cubs at Wrigley Field.  Cubs trail Brewers 9-3 into bottom of the 6th inning.  Cubs score 6 runs to tie the game 9-9.  Trailing 11-9 into the bottom of the 9th inning, 5 straight Cubs reach base.  Starlin Castro drives in David DeJesus to cut the lead to 11-10.  Anthony Rizzo doubles home Luis Valbuena and Alfonso Soriano's walkoff RBI single is the game winner. Starlin Castro goes 2 for 5 with a triple, a walk, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI in the game.


May 4, 2013
Reds defeat the Cubs 6-4.  Alfonso Soriano accounts for all 4 runs with two 2-run home runs.

July 9, 2013
Alfonso Soriano homers twice and the Cubs hit 5 home runs as they defeat the Angels 7-2 at Wrigley Field.  Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro & Darwin Barney also homer for the Cubs.