CINCINNATI --- Reds rookie infielder Neftali Soto didn't just wait 15 at-bats to nab his first Major League hit. It's been nearly a year in the making before Soto connected Monday on a pinch-hit, one-out double down the left-field line in the fifth inning of Monday's rain-suspended game vs. the Pirates.
Soto was first called up to the big leagues on May 18-19 of last season and had 13 games played and 12 at-bats spread over three stints with the Reds in 2013. He was 0-for-2 in pinch-hitting appearances entering Monday.
"It's real nice to get the first one, especially after last year, when I got the at-bats and it didn't happen. It felt great to do it," Soto said on Tuesday.
At the time of Soto's hit, the Reds were trailing by a 5-4 score as rain threatened to shorten the game. Later in the inning, Joey Votto put Cincinnati ahead with a two-run homer.
"That felt even better. It always feels good to help the team," Soto said. "Now, I actually feel that I've done something."
Soto has the ball from his first hit and plans to give it to his father, Neftali Soto Sr.
"He's going to put it in a special place in his office, for sure," Soto said.