Cuban defector Jorge Soler signed nine-year, $30 million contract with the Chicago Cubs in the summer of 2012. At the time of the signing, the Cubs knew that while they had found someone special, patience would be key throughout his development. Now with Soler finally at the big league level, that patience is starting to pay off.
In a season that showcased a few of the Cubs young and promising players, it’s hard to pin-point one stand-out player from the others. Some displayed the ability to consistently contribute, while others possessed a knack for energizing and dazzling the home crowd. With that said, the power hitting outfielder proved to be the most polished of them all.
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Soler, 22, is a 6’4, 215-pound phenom in the making. In 24 games, the Cuban sensation posted a .292 batting average with five home runs and 20 runs batted in. His major league debut was arguably one of his brightest moments, when he burst onto the scene and cranked a solo home run over the center field wall in his very first at-bat.
The outfielder also displayed a significant amount of patience at the plate. While other young players, most notably Javier Baez, seemed to struggle to make contact at times; Soler consistently put the ball in play and enjoyed a solid .330 on base percentage. He also showed the raw power that he possesses. In addition to his long balls, he slugged .573 with eight doubles and one triple. And although he did only draw six walks over the course of 89 plate appearances, he was able to keep his strikeouts at a minimum with just 24.
Soler was able to hold his own defensively as well. While playing one of the more difficult outfield positions at Wrigley field, he posted a .958 fielding percentage while committing just two errors. Also, showing off his cannon-like arm, he was able to record two outfield assists.
Barring any major or recurring injuries, Jorge Soler seems poised for stardom and will likely have a huge role in bringing the championship that Cub fans so desperately crave.