In today’s look at the talent in Cuba, Don breaks down outfielder Jorge Soler.
A few days ago, the Orioles ventured down to the Dominican Republic. Their eyes were on a batch of international talent that could inject some much needed youth into the system and improve the public perception that Dan Duquette is reaching beyond the US border to strengthen the ball club. Here’s a look at Jorge Soler.
Looking at Jorge Soler’s age and physical frame makes you think you just caught lighting in a bottle. His frame and projection is still massively untapped and he could be a 230 pound masher in his prime; it is that type of lower foundation and torque that makes every scout think he will be better than Leonys Martin, who was signed by the Rangers last year. He shows every tool that you covet and then some for an up the middle prospect.
While he has a bag of tools at his disposal, he will need a good deal of refinement. His ceiling is not going to be as high as Cespedes because he will outgrow the center field label much earlier in his career and the same fear of contact at the highest level would not play as well in the corner for an entire career.
The other shoe to drop is the amount of risk a team will make in his investment. Soler’s price tag will likely be above $20 million dollars and that is a large bit to swallow considering how much boom or bust is left in this young man’s game. He would likely start out in high A ball and there is a long road to show that he could be an effective MLB outfielder.
From a skills standpoint, Soler can swing for the fences and shows more pull power, but it is safe to suggest pole to pole once he irons out his game and matures a bit more. It is a longer swing, with impressive bat speed making up for any minor flaw, that will need to be compacted down the line, but again you cannot teach raw athleticism and fast twitch production.
Soler has the overall skill set to play center field right now, but will move to the corner on any parent club. His arm strength is up to plus. Standard speed with growth and maturation should make him a quality right fielder down the line. Overall, he is the same power/speed combo as Cespedes but many years younger.
He will not come anywhere close to the dollar amount required for Cespedes, but if everything falls in line Soler can be a quality everyday type player with power production. These are hard to find at any stage, or location and the reason why he will be sought after by many teams.