Called Up: Jorge Soler

I should be doing many more of these with September call-ups coming soon, but I’ll try to keep from sidetracking myself from org prospect rankings (Rockies list coming this week) by writing about every prospect that comes up.  A 50 Future Value is a good cut-off for who gets a post, but I might do some interesting 45 FV guys as well.  Take a look at the Rangers list to get an idea of what 45 and 50 FV means.  The 50 FV cut-off is generally around the 150th best prospect in the game.

Hit: 50/60, Game Power: 55/65, Raw Power: 65/65, Run: 50/45, Field: 45/45+, Throw: 55/55

Note: From now on, when I list scouting grades for a player in an article, they will appear on his player page in real time, so pop over to Soler’s page and marvel at technology.

Jorge Soler is just a fun player to watch. He’s an explosive quick-twitch power hitter with easy plus bat speed and raw power along with just enough huge cuts and erratic stuff to his game that you never know what you might see.  Some scouts rate the power a 70, but since there were some real concerns about contact/approach and makeup coming into this season, I tried to stay conservative, despite Soler’s big numbers this year.  One scout compared him to Yasiel Puig, calling Soler a better hitter but not as fast as Puig.

When I was doing my top 100 list last year, I had Soler easily in the top 50 even after seeing more erratic stuff than huge performance in the Arizona Fall League. Multiple evaluators told me to move him out of the top 50 — I eventually ranked him 52nd — as they had these concerns for years and it was now seen as starting to impact his ability to hit his substantial upside.  To clarify, these concerns weren’t about his character, but mostly focus and maturity type stuff; something many players grow out of (Soler is still 22) but snowball for others.  Those concerns haven’t evaporated, but it’s amazing what raking can do for one’s reputation.

Soler is a good athlete for a a 6’3/225 power hitter, turning in average run times and sometimes a bit better, but I’d expect him to lose a step by his peak and he’s never been a huge hustle guy on the bases. It’s a right field profile and he should have enough speed/defense to be around average in those areas and not be a value suck on a potential impact bat.

EDIT: Using the process from the org prospect list format, the triple slash line upside for Soler would be .285/.360/.485.  This is taking the projected tools above, converting them into stats (i.e. 60 bat converts to .280s batting average), then rounding up a bit (how much for each tool depends on the player) to account for “upside” rather than “projected output.”

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Kiley McDaniel has worked in the scouting departments of the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates and has written for ESPN, among other outlets. Follow him on twitter for real-time thoughts on the players he’s seeing and hacky attempts at humor.

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