Spring training is under way and for the most part, the Chicago Cubs’ uber prospects are exceeding the hype.
So far, Kris Bryant is proving he’s the real deal, going 9-for-20, with six of those hits coming in long ball fashion – which leads all big leaguers (not to mention, a handful of entire teams).
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Addison Russell has also looked equally sound, batting .462 in five games this spring. I know, I know; its only Spring Training you say; nonetheless its nice to see the kids taking advantage of the opportunity while they face some big league competition.
Russell will most likely begin his 2015 campaign at Triple A Iowa – with lack of experience there, and Bryant will join him, but only due to contractual reasons as the 2014 Minor League Player of the Year has little else to prove in the minors. But one highly-touted prospect that won’t begin his season at the lower levels is Cubs’ outfielder Jorge Soler.
Since being signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 2012, Soler has accumulated some eye-popping numbers with the organization’s minor league affiliates – slashing .305/.384/.548 while launching 28 home runs, driving in 118 and crossing the plate 110 times over the span of 163 minor league games.
The Cuban defector displayed a mature approach after being called up to Triple A Iowa last season, hitting eight long balls in only 127 plate appearances, with an elite OPS of .996; making it a rather easy decision for the Cubs front office to promote him mid-summer, and Soler did not disappoint.
Soler is entering his age 23 season, and prior to 2014 was listed at six-four, 215 pounds, but it seems the big righty is preparing for a breakout year. It was reported that he gained 27 pounds of muscle this off-season, as he was already listed at six-four, 215 pounds.
If Soler can stay healthy and productive, he’ll be a major part of the Cubs’ offense in 2015. However, on the other side of the coin, if leg troubles continue to plague him as they did in the past, it could be a very different story this season.