Kansas City Royals: Jorge Soler is the AL home run leader
By Ryan Sikes
Jorge Soler completes his magical season with the Kansas City Royals by hitting his American League-leading 46th home run of the year.
For the first time in Kansas City Royals history, they will have a member from their team at the top of the home run charts. Jorge Soler launched his American League-leading 46th home run in the bottom half of the first inning on Saturday. The long ball came on a 2-2 pitch and was absolutely crushed to dead centerfield. Statcast had an exit velocity of 111.5 mph off the bat of Soler.
The 27-year old has blossomed this season and today’s feat caps off an impressive year in which he was able to stay healthy and develop a better eye at the plate. Earlier this year, Soler surpassed Mike Moustakas‘ single-season franchise home run record. Little did we know, he had much more planned for the remainder of the season.
Soler had been tied with Mike Trout for the AL home run lead since September 16. With just two games remaining, he was running out of time to take the lead. Trout’s season ended in mid-September but he may still take end up taking home the AL MVP award. On a weekend in which many things were being celebrated including Ned Yost‘s final series as manager and potentially Alex Gordon‘s final game in a Royals uniform, Soler’s monumental home run came at a perfect time.
A lot of discussions will likely occur this offseason whether Soler deserves a contract extension. Soler can opt-out of his contract if he feels like he can make more in arbitration, and he definitely would, given that he was originally signed to a modest 9-year deal worth $30 million.
We’ll see what happens during the offseason but let’s all enjoy Jorge Soler becoming the first Royal to lead the American League in home runs.