Multiple outlets are reporting the Cubs are calling up 22-year-old stud outfielder Jorge Soler. He is set to join the club Wednesday in Cincinnati. So what’s the big deal?
The Cubs signed the Cuban when he was just 20 years old as an international free agent, paying him $30 million over nine seasons without knowing how he would size up against big-league pitching. They had THAT much confidence in him two years ago. As you already know, that kind of gamble on minimally scouted Cuban players has paid off very well with the Dodgers ($42 million for Yasiel Puig), Athletics ($36 million for Yoenis Cespedes) and White Sox ($68 million for Jose Abreu). All three of those players have been involved in MVP races and/or have been invited to the All-Star game. If Soler plays like the Cubs think he can, he will be an absolute steal, just like the aforementioned players were for their respective clubs. So far, all signs are suggesting Soler is a monster on the field.
After a slow start due to injury, Soler has hit .338 this season with 15 bombs and 54 RBI. His slash line is .340/.432/.700 across all levels in the minors and hie hit .282/.378/.618 with eight homers and 29 RBIs in Triple-A alone. Cubs utility man Logan Watkins has been quoted saying Soler is a “freakish athlete,” something the organization knew two years ago.
The tipping point for the Cubs is nearing. Javier Baez is already up and although he’s striking out way too much, he’s showing promise, already knocking seven home runs in 20 games this season. 2013 first round pick Kris Bryant is absolutely destroying the ball this year on the farm, hitting 43 home runs while hitting .330. He is in line to be the minor-league player of the year. Albert Almora is also another top prospect within the Cubs’ system; he’s a 20-year old outfielder who has been hitting for average and speed. 2014 first-rounder Kyle Schwarber is a catcher/outfielder who is also killing it in Single-A, hitting 18 homers with 53 RBIs in only 68 games.
Don’t forget the Cubs also just traded for prized prospect Addison Russell from Oakland, who is widely regarded as the best shortstop prospect in the game. All that’s left for the Cubs to develop is their pitching staff, something that is rumored to be taken care of this offseason with the trade of Starlin Castro.
It’s not the best time to be a Cubs fan, but the tide is turning. Jorge Soler will be just the latest signal of the growing strength of the new Theo Epstein-led club.
North siders, get excited.
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