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Cubs Player Profile: The Enigmatic Jorge Soler

An enigma wrapped in a dilemma wrapped in a conundrum. Jorge Soler's results have not equaled his vast potential.

Soler Power!
Soler Power!
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Carlos Soler Castillo was born February 25, 1992, in Havana, Cuba. He currently plays left field for the Chicago Cubs. He is 6-foot-4, weighs 215, throws and bats right-handed, and made his major-league debut August 27, 2014, hitting a home run in his first big-league at-bat.

Jorge Soler (@JorgeSoler68) played for the Cuban national baseball team in international competition. He defected from Cuba in 2011, seeking a career in the major leagues. After establishing residency in Haiti, Soler signed a nine-year contract with the Cubs. He was primarily a right fielder during his first two seasons for the Cubs.

There have been rumors and indications throughout Soler's career that he did not possess the most professional of outlooks, and that consequently he is unable to control his enormous talent and channel it into on-field activity on a consistent basis. For example, Jeff Mans of the Sporting News wrote: "He started out on the wrong foot with the Cubs after failing to report to minor league camp shortly after signing his nine-year, $30 million deal, feeling that he should have been in Chicago immediately."

Soler was suspended for five games following a bat-brandishing incident while with the Daytona Cubs.

Baseball Reference says that he has played just over a full season's worth of games in the Major Leagues, having lost considerable time to injury. In that time, his has batted .256 with 19 home runs and 77 RBI. His .321 OBP and .418 SLG are not prepossesing given his tools. He has been worth 0.7 bWAR in that time. Fangraphs says similar things.

Soler did star in the 2016 playoffs, clouting memorable home runs in both playoff series. But he has so far demonstrated little consistency on the field. He is not the most adept left fielder in the game. His batting eye seems decent, though he has a tendency toward impatient swings. His ceiling is unlimited, should he harness his potential.

Tim Brusveen, in his article The Eventful and Compelling Journey of Jorge Soler, writes: "He was also the first reason for fans to believe this run of prospects wasn’t simply the next run of guys like Corey Patterson, David Kelton, Bobby Hill, Hee Seop Choi, Rich Hill, Brett Jackson or Josh Vitters."

This was following his two-homer game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 2014. If you look at the batting data, he's certainly not a complete bust. And he's still part of the story.

Leigh Coridan of Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus had an excellent article in April, furthering the story that Brusveen began, relating more details of Soler's struggle to reach the Major Leagues. We can hope that the best truly is to come, and that Jorge being Jorge will be a thing.

Here's an article from the Latin Post about his MLB debut. His father, Jorge Soler Sr., was at the game.

I think that the important thing to remember is that Jorge lost two developmental years just trying to get away from Cuba. He's essentially a 22-year-old prospect, in terms of time put in (though he's actually 24). I suspect that I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

He has quite a few photos on his Instagram account, if you'd like to see them.