The 2021 MLB All-Star Game rosters were recently announced in its entirety, and relief pitcher Gregory Soto was the Detroit Tigers’ lone representative this year.
Gregory Soto was likely not on the All-Star Game radar as he was gearing up for the 2021 MLB season, but his vast emergence this season propelled him to a spot in the Midsummer Classic. Soto, who was signed as an international free agent back in December of 2012, has emerged into a very strong arm for the Detroit Tigers in a few seasons.
Soto, 26, was once named the Detroit Tigers’ minor league pitcher of the Year for his strong effort in the Tigers’ minor league ranks, but that accomplishment came as a starting pitcher. Soto didn’t make the switch to a bullpen arm until the 2020 season, and it’s a move that likely saved his career.
Soto has never been a bad pitcher by any means, but his ERA was a bit steep in the minors when he was a starting pitcher in the rotation. Soto was also part of a loaded Erie 2019 pitching staff that featured several highly talented pitchers including Casey Mize, Alex Faedo, Matt Manning, and Anthony Castro; and he likely wouldn’t have had much of tenure as a starting pitcher in the Detroit Rotation with all those arms eventually coming up to the Show.
Gregory Soto struggled with his transition as a relief pitcher at first, but he really settled down this season and has been arguably the most reliable arm out of the Tigers’ bullpen this season. Soto, excluding his July 4th outing, has been electric out of the pen and was one of the MLB’s best relief arms throughout the month of June. Soto, in June, pitched 12.0 innings, allowed just two hits, struck out 15 batters, walked just four batters, and gave up a lone earned run.
Months like that have been par for the course lately for Gregory Soto, as he has quickly become one of the biggest breakout bullpen arms in the MLB this season. If Gregory Soto can continue to improve every season, he may be able to repeat this first career All-Star Game appearance in other seasons down the road.