Cubs Get Soler Power

 Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs decided to call up yet another elite prospect. This time, its 22-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. Justin Ruggiano will likely be put on the DL to make room for the move.

Soler is coming off a three game stretch at Triple A Iowa where he totaled two home runs and eight RBI with six runs scored on 12 hits while drawing five walks; highlighted by a 5-for-5 performance on Saturday. He is batting .338/.432/.687 with 15 home runs in 61 games combined between Triple A Iowa and Double A Daytona this season.

It wasn’t a matter of if Soler would get a promotion this season, but a matter of when. The power hitting outfielder was already on the Cubs’ 40 man roster, and signed a major league contract worth $30 million totaled over nine years back in 2012, so it really isn’t a surprise that Soler will see time at the big league level this early.

Soler is expected to join the Cubs Wednesday against Cincinnati and will be placed in the lineup immediately. He is expected to get a considerable amount of playing time the rest of the way, which will mostly be spent in a corner outfield spot. Soler will also look to get close to 130 at bats when it’s all said and done.

Earlier this month there was speculation that Soler would get a call up around the time of Javier Baez’s promotion. But due to a mini-slump, upper management let him work through his struggles. As good hitters usually do, they break out of inevitable rough patches that occur sporadically throughout a season.

Soler qualifies as a good minor league hitter, proving he can handle each level rather exceptionally. Time will tell, however, whether or not Soler can handle the hardest test of every hitter, and he will get a nice taste of what its like with a little over a month left to play.

The scary thing about Soler’s potential is that he may have been called up much earlier in his development process if the 22-year-old avoided injury on two separate occasions. He is healthy now and the key is for him to stay that way.

Now, the sky is the limit for a player who could put up 20 home runs a season consistently, which adds to one of baseball’s best kept secrets; the Cubs’ hitting depth.

With Soler now in the picture, the Cubs are charged with talent that can make an immediate impact as early as next season. With already established young stars Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo proving their value, to prospects Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, and Kyle Hendricks already making their major league debuts, the Cubs are close to filling the imaginary lineup card that once seemed a distant lie. Let’s not forget Addison Russell, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber among others who project to be dominant forces in the majors when the time is right.

So many promotions of highly touted prospects coming in such a short amount of time starts to bring a sense of optimism to a fan base that has seen the pits of baseball hell. It’s nice to feel real excitement again affiliated with a Chicago baseball team, and a club that is 15 games under .500 is close to must see TV when prospect after prospect make their debuts.

The hype surrounding these players is daunting, to say the least. For the most part, any kind of production from players such as Soler, Baez, and Alcantara is a huge plus at this point.

The struggles will be there, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It would be other worldly if each prospect came up and destroyed major league pitching right away. For now, its safe to sit back and watch these kids continue to develop.

Personally, I have been looking forward to the Soler call up for some time now. Since the Cubs signed the slugger out of Cuba back in 2012, I’ve been counting the days until he was close to breaking the big leagues. He very well could be a scary dominant hitter for years, and I’m not exaggerating. Soler has straight raw power along with a knack for getting on base.

The light at the end of the Cubs tunnel is beginning to get brighter and brighter. Jorge Soler is yet another example of what Cubs fans can look forward to in the next few seasons.

 

Get your Chicago Cubs gear at Chicago Trib Shops!

 

  • Lou

    Yes. It was also interesting to see the Cubs win 3 games over Baltimore.