Cubs scouting 19 year old Cuban star Jorge Soler

Cubs scouting 19 year old Cuban star Jorge Soler

John Manual of Baseball America once said this about 19 year old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler,

Now if Jorge Soler shows up in Nicaragua (to defect), get excited.

Well, it's time to get excited.

Soler is expected to finish his paperwork in a few weeks at which point he will be free to sign with an MLB team.

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Cubs are one of the teams most heavily in on Soler.  Scouts believe Soler has more upside than Yoennis Cespedes.  Here is what Manual had to say,

Soler has a strapping 6-foot-3, 205-pound body and has five-tool potential.  Soler has bat speed and what one scout called 'explosive power' to go with above-average arm strength."

Nationals Director of International Scouting Johnny DiPuglia said this about Soler,

“He’s got a Hanley Ramirez-type body. Plus arm. Plus bat speed. He’s a good kid, a good-energy kid.”

Soler's time to first base has been clocked at 4.26 and he is currently playing CF, although he'll likely have to move to a corner one day.  He certainly has the power to make that transition.

Soler is much further away from the majors then Cespedes is right now, so teams looking for immediate help may not be interested.  It is expected that Soler would require about 2-3 years to make the majors.

The bad news for the Cubs is that the other teams in on Soler right now are two big spenders, the Yankees and the Nationals.  Soler, though, is not expected to receive as much as Aroldis Chapman did or Cespedes will.  He is, however, expected to eclipse the 15.5M deal given to 23 year old Rangers blue chip prospect Leonys Martin received back in May.

The deal would make sense for the Cubs as they aren't necessarily looking to win now.  They are looking to add impact players to their system and Soler would certainly qualify.

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  • Sign him up! This would give us another great outfield prospect that has the skills to play CF. That would be one fast outfield with Jackson, Szczur, & himself, if they all made it. Then you'd still have Golden too.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Those are 4 pretty athletic OF'ers. With Jackson having a good shot to make it, that gives you 3 others guys to fill the other 2 spots for an OF you could have for a decade. I'd say the odds are pretty good that at least 2/3 of the Cubs OF can be homegrown and possibly all 3 by the time 2014 rolls around. Me likey!

  • I second that!! The Cubs being agressive with Cuban players is great news, finally a Chicago team that understands what it takes to build a winner.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    He's a possible impact player and you have to try to get them anyway you can. I can see them having more interest in this guy than Cespedes.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What kind of money would you expect it would take to sign him? $15M? More? Less?

  • In reply to JB88:

    A bit more...but probably less than $20M. I'll say 6 years/$18M He's still young and will spend some time in the minors. The fact that he's not major league ready brings his price down a bit as it makes him a bigger risk.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I know next to nothing about this kid, but given there is no cap in baseball and it isn't my money, I say go hogwild Theoyer!

  • In reply to JB88:

    Maybe spend a little extra with the new draft rules making it more difficult.

  • fb_avatar

    Sounds awesome!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Indeed! The more top tier talent we can bring in the better.

  • Not knowing how the new CBA is going to affect the Cubs signing
    draft picks they should go all out for international prospects.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed...although the picture is starting to come into focus a bit. Am waiting to see what the final decision is on CBA.

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    In a non-thread related item:

    "WEDNESDAY, 8:33am: Lesser Type As such as Kelly Johnson, Octavio Dotel, and Takashi Saito will be made Type Bs in the new CBA, tweets Sherman. The players' teams will still get compensation, but the players' markets will not be hurt by the cost of a draft pick. Sherman talked yesterday about Type B compensation being eliminated, but I am guessing that would go into effect for the 2012-13 offseason. By the way, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Brewers have already agreed not to offer arbitration to Saito. Sherman says the new CBA will be for five years, and could be announced as early as Friday."

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/type-b-compensation-likely-to-be-eliminated-this-offseason.html

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That part of it is good news...bad news is that Type Bs get no compensation and the draft spending is going to be curbed. You'd think owners would be smarter than that. How do they do such dumb, short-sighted things for their industry?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I am really surprised that they are eliminating Type B comp. It didn't hurt anyone in the draft really, and basically it was a fairly fair means of compensating those teams that were losing good, but not elite talent.

    I think that the owners who are willing to put in the 10-round cap must also be negotiating for a higher cap or expecting to sign those players seen as unsignable after the 10th round.

  • In reply to JB88:

    It makes no sense to me. It's just a poorly thought out compromise. Lots of GMs unhappy with it.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I totally don't understand it either. They're taking away one of the few advantages the small market teams have. I'm surprised the owners are going along with this, and if enough small and medium market owners balked, I bet they could get the players union on their side. Because even though the players union doesn't really care about draftees, since they don't become dues paying members of the MLBPA until they actually reach the major leagues, the agents are affected by it, and the union will usually go along with things the agents are for.

    On the other hand though, it's as much about player development as it is good drafting. I can't help but think how different Tyler Colvin might be right now if he had come up in a different system like the A's or the Red Sox.

    To me the compensation thing ought to be real simple. Teams should not be punished for signing free agents. Type A free agents should be worth a supplemental first round pick, and Type B free agents should be worth a supplemental second round pick, and those picks should not be conditional. Arbitration for impending free agents should just be done away with.

  • i think the cubs should drop cepedes and go after soler. cepedes could be a big expense and a huge bust. soler would cost probably half and has just as good as upside. plus if the cubs didnt like what they saw in him coming up through the system he could always be trade bait, if we dont like what we see in cepedes, everyone will know and it will be much harder to trade him/he'll have less value. cepedes can help us for maybe the next 5 years, soler could be in a cubs uni for 10+ with similar or better upside.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    cespedes*

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Solid rationale. I'm sold. If I had to choose one, I think I'd go with Soler for the reasons you state -- cheaper, better upside, better long term trade value, and also a better long term fit.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    What I favor in Soler is that at 19 he is still very much a raw talent and can be molded into a MLB ready player who fits the style of play that the Cubs are looking for during a 1-3 year stint in the minors... possibly arriving at the majors around 20-22 years old still before his prime.

    That option doesn't exist with Cespedes, it is more of you get what you get and hope he can adjust. So besides the financial considerations alone, I see Soler as not only a safer bet, but one with a higher potential ceiling as well.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    A safer bet...now that's an interesting angle to consider. Most would assume the more polished Cespedes is the safer bet, but I can see where you're coming from.

    There is an adjustment period for all international players, especially hitters. When you're 26 you just don't have the luxury of spending a couple of years in the minors. It's sink or swim, and in that sense I could see that as a bigger risk.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    also we have to consider injuries, if cespedes gets hurt hes pretty much dead weight, if soler gets hurt he has plenty of time, its not like he will be a huge disappointment if he makes it to the majors at 24, 25, were just hopeful that its earlier than that.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Very true as well. Cespedes can't afford to lose much time in his "development", though I'd say with him I'd call it an adjustment period. I'd still take Cespedes, of course, but Soler is the more interesting prospect. It seems the Cubs are scouting Soler more heavily as well -- though that could just be because there's less info and more projection involved.

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