Earlier this month, it was Javier Baez making his way to the Windy City as the first of a new wave of prospects beginning to appear with the Chicago Cubs. On Wednesday, it appears that another highly touted youngster will be making his debut with the big club, as the long-awaited debut of Jorge Soler will take place against the Cincinnati Reds. He was removed from a game with Triple-A Iowa after cranking a three-run homer.
Soler marks the next of the influx of Cuban sluggers to join the ranks of Major League Baseball. He signed with the Cubs in 2012, but was seen as more raw and in need of more development than the likes of Yoenis Cespedes or Yasiel Puig. Nonetheless, after some health issues earlier this season, he’s been absolutely mashing, first at Double-A Tennessee before getting the Call to Triple-A Iowa.
The 22-year-old only appeared in 31 games with Iowa, but made quite the impression. He hit seven homers in those 31 games and was an on-base machine, reaching at a .376 clip. His walk rate has been incredibly steady, and quite impressive, at both levels. He walked at a rate over 15 percent in Double-A before maintaining a 13.6 percent rate with Iowa. He slashed .340/.432/.700 across all levels this season.
While health issues certainly delayed his rapid rise through the farm system, Jorge Soler has been every bit the masher that the Cubs expected when they signed him to an eight-year pact. He’s expected to join the team in Cincinnati, but will not debut until Wednesday. Just as was the case with Javy Baez in Colorado, a debut in a hitters ballpark has the ability to draw some extra attention to what will already be a highly publicized debut.