Although he’s known by us as a designated hitter, KC Royals slugger Jorge Soler cracked MLB Network’s top 10 right fielders list ahead of the 2020 season.
As the 2020 MLB regular season approaches, sites are beginning to list their top players at each position. MLB Network is slowly unveiling its “Top 10 Right Now” series, with lists being released every Saturday. Recently, KC Royals slugger Jorge Soler was ranked among the best of the best.
Soler takes home this year’s No. 7 spot for right fielders. Despite transitioning to being a full-time designated hitter, he still managed to crack the list in the outfield. This is a testament to Soler’s bat, as his defense in right was never good and his routes to balls were poor. Overall, he’s more of a one-dimensional player. Luckily, that one dimension has emerged as one of the greatest threats in baseball.
After playing just 96 games across the 2017 and 2018 seasons (with mixed results), Soler broke out in a big way in 2019. Staying healthy and playing all 162 games, he posted a .265/.354/.569 line with a league-leading 48 home runs and a whopping 117 RBIs. A .902 OPS helped cement his status as a premier power threat in the American League.
This performance was enough to earn Soler a one-year, $7.3 million contract. In betting on himself to replicate his success this upcoming year, the pressure is on. At the age of 27, though, he should be right in the middle of his prime as a hitter. That’s a scary thought for opposing pitchers.
Ahead of Soler on the list of right fielders were Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Aaron Judge, Ronald Acuña Jr., J.D. Martinez and Bryce Harper. Behind him were Joey Gallo, Michael Conforto and Nicholas Castellanos.
Expect Soler to try his best to have another terrific season in 2020. For the sake of both him and the Royals, hopefully he can remain healthy and earn a long-term deal.