Soderstrom was placed on the 7-day injured list at Low-A Stockton on Tuesday because of a back issue, Athletics Farm reports. Soderstrom hasn't played since July 23 due to a collarbone injury, and it now sounds like he's also hampered by some sort of back problem. The severity of the latest issue isn't clear, so it's not known how long the Athletics expect their top prospect to be on the shelf. The backstop has slashed .306/.390/.568 with 12 homers and 49 RBI across 222 at-bats with Stockton this season.
Soderstrom has been sidelined since July 23 after taking a foul tip to the collarbone, Melissa Lockard of The Athletic reports. The catching prospect was hit by the foul ball July 20, although he did play July 23 and went 2-for-5 with a home run. It's unclear what injury Soderstrom is dealing with and whether he's at all close to returning to the field for Low-A Stockton, where he's hit .306 with 12 home runs and 49 RBI in 57 games this season.
Soderstrom is hitting .315/.400/.575 with 10 homers, two steals, 43 RBI and 36 runs across 50 games for Low-A Stockton. The No. 26 overall pick from last year's draft, Soderstrom is just 19 years old -- two years younger than the average player in the Low-A West league -- but he's already showing an impressively advanced approach at the plate in his first pro season. He's drawing walks at a 10.9 percent clip, has kept the strikeouts low enough (23.5 percent) and is hitting the ball to all fields with authority. Soderstrom made a great impression in major-league spring training this year, and he seems poised to rocket through the organization -- particularly if the A's elect to move him off the catcher position, which would be a boon to his fantasy value while accelerating his timeline. They haven't said anything about doing so just yet, but Soderstrom's prospect profile isn't all that different from the likes of Bryce Harper and Wil Myers, who were both catchers at the outset of their careers. Accordingly, it may not be long until Soderstrom is routinely mentioned among the top few prospects in the game.
Soderstrom is 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI over his first six Cactus League games. The 26th overall pick of the 2020 first-year player draft, Soderstrom lost out on his first opportunity for extended professional development with the cancellation of the 2020 minor-league season. The 19-year-old is gaining from the experience of being around the big-league club this spring, however, and he hasn't looked out of place over the small sample of at-bats thus far. Soderstrom is thought to have a bright future at catcher and will likely start the 2021 season at either the rookie or Low-A level.
The Athletics announced Monday that Soderstrom will report to big-league spring training as a non-roster invitee. After being selected in the first round of the 2020 first-year player draft, Soderstrom didn't get the chance to make his debut in affiliated ball due to the cancellation of the minor-league season. The assignment to major-league spring training will thus give the Athletics a greater opportunity to evaluate Soderstrom against higher-level competition, even though he won't be a serious candidate to break camp with the big club. Look for the 19-year-old backstop to make his professional debut at the rookie-ball level.
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