I've finally decided to do a number crunching thing, not my forte mind you, to answer the pin heads out there that point to Soriano performing so much better out of the leadoff spot than further down in the order.
Since Soriano's career numbers are heavily skewed by the preponderance of stats accumulated batting leadoff, his numbers vary only slightly batting in a different part of the order. What I'd like to point out however, is his effectiveness to the teams total offensive production, or the total runs the team scores when Soriano hits in different spots in the lineup.
Soriano's greatest number of plate appearances other than leadoff come from the 5 hole in the order.
2227PA, 138DB, 9TP, 121HR, 281RBI, 117SB, 38CS
618PA, 37DB, 3TP, 34HR, 107RBI, 31SB, 3CS
When we look at Soriano's effectiveness hitting from these two positions in the lineup, we see some alarming variables.
As a leadoff man Soriano gets an extra base hit 12% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he gets an extra base hit 11.9% of the time.
As a leadoff man Soriano attempts a stolen base 6.9% of the time and is caught stealing 24.5% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he attempts a stolen base 5.5% of the time and is caught stealing a base 8.8% of the time.
As a leadoff man Soriano hits a HR 5.4% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he hits a HR 5.5% of the time.
As a leadoff man Soriano has an RBI 12.6% of the time.
Out of the 5 hole he has an RBI 17.3% of the time.
There are two interesting facts to point out when looking over these numbers.
One, Soriano creates an out at a rate of almost 3 times the frequency attempting a steal when batting leadoff compared to hitting in the 5 hole. Negatively effecting the heart of the order's ability to score runs.
Two, Soriano drives in a run 37% more frequently out of the 5 hole in the order than he does hitting leadoff. Positively effecting the heart of the order's ability to score runs.
Throw in 150+ strikeouts and suspect defense in CF, and the team suffers mightily from the misuse of this wonderfully gifted athlete.