The KC Royals slugger looks to have made his claim for a spot in Kansas City, but he has to continue to prove his worth for a longer contract.
In 2019, the KC Royals finally had a slugger like no other in team history. Jorge Soler, after years of trial and injury, had his breakout season and proved that the Royals bet on him was worth it. Not only did he manage to break the team’s single season home run record of 38, he shattered it, hitting 48 by the end of the season.
Soler did exactly what was expected of him, though it may have come a bit later than desired. Finally showing that he has the power to go long, Soler became the slugger the Royals have needed for some time and provided a fairly consistent bat in an otherwise unsteady lineup.
Now, Royals fans are waiting to see the team and Soler back in Kauffman, hopefully smashing homers into the stands. But with too many unknowns surrounding the season, there is still no set date for when this could happen.
Soler was off to a hot start in spring training, but what matters is whether or not his hot streak will continue once the season eventually begins. While there is reason to believe that Soler will not continue his success, a look at his 2019 season shows that he got off to a slow start.
Soler’s slugging was fairly consistent through the season, starting the season in April at .455 and not falling below .500 in any month following, but his batting average and on base percentage struggled to get going until midway through the season.
In April, May, and June, Soler slashed .202/.259/.455, .255/.298/.509, and .216/.321/.505. There was an obvious increase in OBP, but while he still saw some good home runs, his batting average suffered. Luckily, he figured it out.
In July, Soler had a great month, slashing .289/.409/.544. He saw a huge decrease in strikeouts and pushed forward for a good end of the year, slashing .283/.416/.663 in August, and .330/.402/.734 in September.
There is no denying that Soler had a great year, even if he did start a little slow in some aspects. The question that may remain, though, is how will he start the 2020 season, especially after a few months off after spring training.
If Soler can continue his hot streak into the 2020 season and not skip a beat, he will be fine. If he gets off to a slow start again in what could be a short season, though, Soler could struggle to put together his season and prove that 2019 was no fluke.
Soler is riding a one year contract through 2020, hoping that he can prove his worth for a longer, larger contract after this season. While it’s likely the Royals would like to keep Soler wrapped up for a few more years, if he struggles to get started he may not have time to make his case, at least for a larger paycheck.
If the small sample of spring training can be trusted, Royals fans should be able to expect nothing but slugging from Soler in 2020, which will be positive for all, especially Soler. Since the 2020 season is slow to start, fans can only hope that Jorge Soler won’t be.
How do you think Soler will start the season? Should fans expect to see the same slugger from 2019, or will there likely be some regression? Let us know in the comments.