Geovany Soto rose to prominence at such a critical point in the 2007 Cubs season and there has been such broad presumption that he will be the team's everyday catcher in '08, I find it hard to think of him as a rookie, though technically, that's what he is.
But I'll be damned if I'm going to let some arcane definition of baseball tenure get in the way of my Arcane Cubs List Of The Week, so as far as I'm concerned, Geo is a sophomore.
Here then is a list of the ten highest OPS+ figures compiled by Cub sophomores (min. 200 plate appearances) since the beginning of the Expansion Era (1961):
| 1.) H. Villanueva||1991||214||143|
| 2.) Mark Grace||1989||596||139|
| 3.) R. Palmeiro||1987||244||126|
| 4.) Bill Madlock||1974||509||125|
| 5.) Leo Durham||1981||355||124|
| 6.) Andre Thornton||1974||357||123|
| 7.) Ron Santo||1961||655||121|
| 8.) Rick Wilkins||1992||274||113|
| 9.) Dave Martinez||1987||520||107|
|10.) Matt Murton||2006||508||104|
Perhaps you noticed a full-time catcher on that list, Mr. Wilkins at #8. In 1992, he appeared in 83 games, compiling a batting line of .270 AVG/.344 OBP/.414 SLG with 8 home runs. Though those numbers pale compared to those that Soto put up during his MVP season in the Pacific Coast League last year (.353/.424/.652), they're pretty solid figures for a young catcher, especially a young Cubs catcher.
If Soto could duplicate in '08 what Wilkins accomplished in '92, I think the Cubs would consider Soto's