Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 2/27/13
SALT RIVER AT TALKING STICK, AZ. Neftali Soto probably sees Joey Votto in his dreams and wonders, What am I going to do? Where am I going to play?Maybe he should change jobs. Soccer? Football? Roller blading?Soto, you see, is a first baseman in the Cincinnati Reds organization, a doggone good one, a top prospect.But the Reds have a first baseman, a guy who is signed for the next 12 years for something like 275 million. Soto could bat 1.000 this spring and hed still be without a job in the Reds dugout.Amazingly, rather than pout and fret and say, I wish theyd trade me, Soto takes it like a man and does what he can do to impress the team. He can do nothing about Votto.He impressed during the first exhibiton game this spring, coming off the bench to get four hits only the third Reds player in the last seven years to get four hits in a spring training game.Ive been working a lot and thats all I can do, said the 24-year-old from Mantai, Puerto Rico. Im just trying to do my job. Im on the 40-man roster and Ill do whatever I can do here and well see what happens.What probably will happen is that Soto will be playing first base at Class AAA Louisville, where he was last year for 122 games. You never know what might happen in baseball. I could end up with another team or play another position.Notice he didnt say he might beat out Votto. But another position is a possibility because he played a lot of third base in 2008 at Class A Dayton.Theyve started giving me some ground balls at third base again this year, he said. Well see what happens. And I played one game in right field last year in Louisville. Im definitely down with changing my position. I even played some shortstop in Dayton for a while.Both Louisville and Soto wobbled out of the gate last season the Bats losing games and Soto losing points off his batting average.Soto said nobody was hitting and everybody on the team tried to pick up the slack and, in his case, it fouled up his swing.I heard that early last year he got into trouble by trying to pull the ball, said manager Dusty Baker. His second half was good because he got back to being himself, hitting the ball the opposite way. I see people try to change kids all the time, try to change them from hitting the ball the opposite way to be a pull hitter. I can teach you to pull, but its hard to teach you to hit the opposite way.He has some pop in that bat and has a pretty good idea of what he is doing, Baker added. Anybody who hits the ball the opposite way, for him to right center, is usually going to hit. And he can hit the ball out of the ball park to right center. He is kind of like Joey in that he can hit the ball the opposite way and hit it out. And if you do that, youre going to hit.Baker sees no reason why the 6-1, 215-pound Soto cant save his Cincinnati career by changing positions.He came up a third baseman, then really improved as a first baseman, said Baker. Those two positions are mirror images, plus he has a good throwing arm. Oh, yeah, he could play third base.Soto, playing first base for Class AA Carolina in 2011, hit .272 with a league-leading 30 home runs and 76 RBI. Even though he wasnt himself the first half of last year, he led the Bats in RBI with 59 and total bases (186) and his 14 home runs were second most on the team, despite a .245 average in 122 games.We all started slow and I had some lower back problems, said Soto. But its a new year and well see what happens. It was my first year in Triple-A and now I know more, Im used to it.But will he ever get used to playing the same position as Joey Votto? Would anybody?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker