Soler in 2013 with the Chicago Cubs during spring training
|Chicago Cubs – No. 68|
February 25, 1992 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|Competitor for Cuba|
|18U Baseball World Cup|
|Bronze||2010 Thunder Bay||Team|
Jorge Carlos Soler Castillo (born February 25, 1992 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban baseball outfielder. Soler played for the Cuban national baseball team in international competition. He defected from Cuba in 2011, seeking a career in MLB. After establishing his residency in Haiti, Soler signed a nine-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Soler played for the Cuban national baseball team in the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship, where he had a .304 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, and .522 slugging percentage. His nine walks were the second most in the tournament. Cuba won the bronze medal. Soler also played briefly in the Cuban National Series.
Soler defected from Cuba in 2011 to pursue his career in Major League Baseball (MLB). He established residency in Haiti. Soler was unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control on June 2, 2012, making him a MLB free agent. As a free agent, many teams were involved in bidding on Soler's services. On June 11, 2012, Soler reportedly agreed to a nine-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had reportedly agreed to a deal with Soler before he was declared a free agent, though Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer denied this.
On April 10, 2013, while playing on the Daytona Cubs of the Single-A Florida State League, Soler was ejected for fighting. Immediately following a bench-clearing incident, Soler allegedly charged the opposing Clearwater Threshers' dugout while brandishing a baseball bat. He is ranked as #34 best prospect by Baseball America.
Soler is 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and weighs 215 pounds (98 kg). He is described as a power-hitting outfielder who will likely play right field. Jim Callis of Baseball America described Soler as "a 19-year-old athlete with five-tool potential." According to Callis, Soler likely would have been a top-five pick in the 2010 draft had he been eligible. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus did not rank Soler in his list of the top baseball prospects prior to the 2012 season, but said he would have ranked Soler as the 38th or 39th best prospect if he were eligible. Some teams preferred Soler to higher profile Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes. Keith Law of ESPN.com indicated that Soler had the talent of a top-five draft choice in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, had he been eligible to be drafted. It is expected that he will need to play in minor league baseball before he is ready to make his MLB debut. In his first ever spring training at bat with the Cubs' MLB players he hit a long home run.
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