Chicago Cubs outfield prospect Jorge Soler has had a great start to the 2013 season at High-A Daytona. He is hitting .290, with an on base percentage of .374 and slugging .559. If he continues this great pace, the Cuban outfielder could be promoted to Double-A Tennessee sooner rather than later.
Soler, who is ranked as the 34th prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America, signed a nine-year $30 million contract with the Cubs last June. The 21-year-old outfielder is 6’4” and weighs 215 pounds. He is known as a solid contact hitter, with great power and an awesome arm in the outfield. With a strong spring training with the big league club and this great start to the season, Soler could potentially be on the fast track to the big leagues.
It has not all been good for Soler this season. In April, he was suspended five game and fined an undisclosed amount for an incident where he approached the opposing team’s dugout with a bat in hand. Apparently, there was an altercation with a player with a slide around second base and that player said something about Soler’s family. This made him snap as he approached the dugout with a bat. He was stopped before reaching the dugout and did not swing the bat.
While I am sure that the Cubs were not pleased with the act, they seemed to forgive him, according to President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. “We condemn the act of what took place, but we support the player,” Epstein said. “We believe in Jorge as a person as well as a player. It’s our responsibility to work with him, to make sure he has a better way to channel his emotions on the field and to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. So that’s our responsibility. It’s his responsibility to fully embrace that.”
We will see Soler promoted to Double-A at some point in the next two or three weeks. Worst case, after the draft, which starts on June 6. After that, it is hard to say what happens to him. Some prospects reach Double-A and if they continue to perform take a leap to the big leagues. Although, I do not think we will see Soler in Chicago this season, because the Cubs do not expect to be competitive. I think the best case scenario for his debut in MLB is next year and for that to happen he must continue to impress down in the minor leagues. If he continues to work hard and improve, I think we will see him manning the outfield in Wrigley Field for years to come.