Alfonso Guilleard Soriano (born January 7, 1976 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Chicago Cubs. Before joining the Cubs in 2007, he played for the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals.
Soriano began his professional baseball career in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp, training at their Carp Academy for Dominican players. In 1997, he was promoted briefly to the varsity team, and, wearing uniform number 74, he appeared in nine games, batting .181 (2 for 17) with two walks. In 1997, Soriano earned a salary of $40,000. Soriano finished his career in Japan by retiring from his contract and signing as a free agent with the New York Yankees, using a loophole that had previously been used by Hideo Nomo.
Soriano signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees in 1998, starting his career as an infield player, and played in New York for five seasons. His first hit in the MLB came in 1999 when for the Yankees he hit a walk-off home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In 2002, Soriano led the American League with 696 at bats, 209 hits, 92 extra base hits, 41 stolen bases, 128 runs and set a New York Yankees team record for most at bats (696) and most strikeouts (157) in a season. He finished in third place for Rookie of the Year honors in 2001.¹
Below are stats for three of Soriano's most productive years.
Alfonso Soriano's Most Productive Seasons YEAR TEAM LG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA 2002 NYY AL 156 696 128 209 51 2 39 102 23 157 41 13 .300 2005 TEX AL 156 637 102 171 43 2 36 104 33 125 30 2 .268 2006 WAS AL 159 647 119 179 41 2 46 95 67 160 41 17 .277
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