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.”

Kiley McDaniel has worked as an executive and scout, most recently for the Atlanta Braves, also for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He's written for ESPN, Fox Sports and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter.

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Matthew Tobin
9 years ago

So, Soler’s realistic ceiling is pretty much Jay Bruce

9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Tobin

Bruce is 27 this season — do we even know what HIS ceiling is yet?

Buns Slugsworth
9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Tobin

Do you know what ceiling means?

9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Tobin

Where does it say that?

9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Tobin

The author lists Soler’s projected upside as .285/.360/.485. And his “ceiling” would presumably be something better than his projected upside.

Meanwhile, Bruce is a career .253/.326/.470 hitter.

9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Tobin

Jay Bruce? Do you look at numbers, or just say things that make no sense on a regular basis?

I could go into a long drawn out explanation as to why you’re wrong, but suffice it to say, you’re very wrong. Jay Bruce’s MiLB #s were inflated by massive BABIPs, Soler doesn’t have that. He also shows much better plate discipline. If he hits .285 as Kiley suggests, his average, OBP and slugging are all better, significantly than Jay Bruce’s. His floor might be Jay Bruce.

His ceiling is high, notice ‘explosive hitter’ part, so something better than .285/.360/.485 with big boy power, as in 30+ HR annually.