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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