KC Royals: Getting To Know New OF Jorge Soler
By Beau Eastes
Getting to know the Cuban outfielder who appears to be headed to the Kansas City Royals pending the outcome of physicals.
You’re most likely aware of the Royals’ rumored – dare we say heavily rumored? – trade talks with the Cubs. In most variations, the KC Royals would give up closer Wade Davis for outfielder Jorge Soler.
Note: After this post was originally written, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports the deal is done.
So, what’s the rundown on new KC Royals outfielder Soler?
Glad you asked.
Jorge Soler: The numbers
First, the basics.
Soler is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder who turns 25 in February.
Over the course of three big league seasons he’s played 211 games, hitting .258 with a .328 on-base percentage and a .762 OPB. His most productive season came in 2015 when he was just 23. Soler hit .262 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 101 games.
He’s played primarily right field – 126 games – but has also spent time – 53 games – in left.
Signed as a 20 year old in 2012 – more on his contract in a bit – Soler has spent parts of the past five seasons in the minors. He posted a .295 BA/.379 OBP/.898 OPS line over 166 games in the minors with his best season by far coming in 2014 when he hit .340 with 15 home runs in just 62 games.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals: No seismic moves announced by tender deadline
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: Any help in San Diego?
- KC Royals: Let the Ryan O’Hearn Watch begin…again
- KC Royals Roster Moves: 3 players added, 1 re-signed
- KC Royals News: Awards, a new coach, and more
Jorge Soler: The postseason stud
While he was much more pedestrian this postseason, going 2 for 9 in six games during the Cubs’ World Series run, Joler dominated the playoffs a year ago. In seven games in 2015, Soler went 9 for 19 with three home runs and five RBIs.
Jorge Soler: The contract
After defecting from Cuba in 2011, Soler signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs in May, 2012.
He’s owed $15 million over the next four years: $3 million next season and $4 million in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Jorge Soler: The bat-wielding incident
Described as a five-tool prospect who some teams liked better than Yoenis Cespedes coming out of Cuba, Soler is as well-known for a bench-clearing incident in Class-A ball as much as anything.
In 2013, Soler was suspended for five games for grabbing a bat during an on-field brawl.
Next: Oakland Showing Interest in Dyson
Jorge Soler: Future KC Royals all-star?
The ceiling is the limit for Soler. He ended the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons among Baseball America’s top 50 prospects – he was No. 12 after 2014 – and he’s still just 24. His defensive metrics aren’t great yet, but he possess a big arm and would likely be aided by either Lorenzo Cain or Jarrod Dyson in center field. And as recently as this spring he was compared to Vladimir Guerrero and Andre Dawson by Joe Maddon and Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez.
Yes, if this trade does go through it’ll be hard to see Davis go. But he was destined to walk after this season and the chance to acquire legit, controllable power in Soler may end up being a steal for the KC Royals.