…in like 2014 or 2015. But what a nice not-so-official Cubs “debut” for Jorge Soler in 2013. In today’s intrasquad game, in which we may or may not have a catcher controversy, Soler was one of several stars for the Blue Squad. Soler’s team ultimately lost to the White Squad, but not before he launched a baseball into low orbit (h/t Cubs Den). According to The Cub Reporter’s unofficial box score, Soler had two plate appearances and got on base both times, once with the homer and the other with a walk. The raw power he displayed was very impressive.
Of course, we take everything with a grain of salt in spring training, especially in the Cactus League. Arizona has relatively thin desert air, which allows the ball to carry more. Despite that, the ball sounded like it would have cleared the expressway regardless of which atmosphere it was in. Also, this was only two plate appearances in a meaningless game that is even more meaningless than actual Cactus League games, and Soler was facing minor league pitchers, although Nick Struck is one of the better pitching prospects in the system. Finally, Soler has only had 149 plate appearances in the Cubs system so far through Rookie ball and Low A, so every expectation should be tempered until he has played at least one full season.
I would say, however, that at least Cubs fans are clamoring for Jorge Soler as the next big thing instead of Tony Campana. As eloquently stated on Twitter:
@wpbc Soler as irrational savior du jour > Campana as irrational savior du jour
— Joe West (@sjwest86) February 21, 2013
While he’s probably not ready for The Show just yet, what Soler showed today was still impressive and gives us something to look forward to. It’s a hell of a lot better than striking out twice. Let’s see what he does for tomorrow’s intrasquad game and in his Cactus League playing time.