At the time, trading Jhonny Peralta to the Detroit Tigers was a celebrated move for many Indians fans. Folks complained about Peralta's poor range at shortstop and his spotty track record offensively. Many also didn't like his attitude and effort levels, as it often looked like he was going through the motions.
That Peralta trade in 2010 to the Tigers netted us a left-handed prospect named Giovanni Soto. The years following the deal saw Peralta perform superbly in Detroit; a bitter pill to shallow for sure. Soto, on the other hand, was slowly moving his way up the Indians minor league ladder, but injuries were taking their toll.
After a 2013 season that saw Soto throw just 8.2 innings, hope was dwindling that the left-hander would ever be a key contributor at the major league level. In a make or break 2014 campaign, Soto was strictly used as a reliever and had a strong season, logging a 3.23 ERA and 2.73 FIP over 53 innings with Double-A Akron.
As this season began, Soto wasn't anywhere to be found on most Indians prospects lists, but that didn't stop him from getting off to a fantastic start. He didn't allow his first earned run until May 7th, his 10th outing, and continued dealing for Triple-A Columbus. As June started, Soto had a sparking 0.75 ERA and 0.88 WHIP through 23.1 innings and it looked like a call-up to Cleveland was certainly possible sometime later in the year.
The rest of the summer saw Soto's ERA slowly climb, but there were more good outings than bad. The coveted call-up to the big leagues came at the start of September, as on September 4th Soto was added to the Indians roster. Soto made six appearances out of the bullpen for the Tribe and didn't allow a run, showcasing solid stuff and some deception from the left-side.
Going forward, the 24 year old looks like he will certainly be in the running for a spot in Cleveland's bullpen to open 2016. Soto will need a solid spring training, but he's shown over the last two years that he could be at least a left-handed specialist, with potential for more. He does not overpower, as his fastball averaged just a tick over 90 mph this year, but changes speeds well and will show a very slow and big breaking curveball (averaged 74 mph last year).
Here's hoping Soto can keep building upon his recent successes and be known for more than just the guy the Indians got for Jhonny Peralta.