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Player Profile: Jorge Soler, OF, Kansas City Royals

Is 2018 the year Soler breaks out as a fantasy star, or will he see yet another season down in the minors?

MLB: Spring Training-Kansas City Royals at Colorado Rockies Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Stats

Year Team PA AVG OBP SLG HR SB BB% K% GB/FB Hard%
Year Team PA AVG OBP SLG HR SB BB% K% GB/FB Hard%
2015 Cubs 404 0.262 0.324 0.399 10 3 7.9% 30.0% 1.42 36.3%
2016 Cubs 264 0.238 0.333 0.436 12 0 11.7% 25.0% 0.92 31.1%
2017 Royals 110 0.144 0.245 0.226 2 0 10.9% 32.7% 0.85 31.1%

A once top 100 prospect for the Chicago Cubs, Soler was brought over to the Royals last off-season for now Cubs closer Wade Davis. You may remember him most from his 2014 season when he hit .292/.330/.573 with 5 home runs in just 97 plate appearances. So far it looks like the Cubs got the best of this deal, but one must remember that Soler will only be 26 years old to start the 2018 season. With a superb arm strength and the departure of players like Lorenzo Cain and Melky Cabrera, we could see a spot open up in right field for the young outfielder. Last season in the minors, he hit .267/.388/.564 with 24 home runs in just 327 plate appearances. Although his minor league numbers were great, he did not have as much luck at the big league level. In 2017 he only hit .144/.245/.258 with 2 home runs in his small sample size of 110 plate appearances, but there were actually some bright spots within his poor major league numbers. One of those bright spots being that he had cut his O-Swing% all the way down to 23.1%. With this plate discipline we should see Soler draw a decent amount of walks which will make him even more valuable in OBP leagues. Another encouraging factor is his 0.85 GB/FB which should be a combination with his elite power. Now even though his hard contact rate was at an unimpressive 31.1%, I am not too worried about it as his raw power is the main reason the Cubs signed him to a 10 year 30 million dollar contract before he ever had a professional at bat. Now with a career 13.5% swinging strike rate I do not see Soler having a superb batting average, but with his plate discipline and power he could still be a valuable asset on any fantasy team come 2018.