Many people have been asking who the outfielder from Cuba is that the Phillies may sign.
In order to make things a little easier for you, here is everything you need to know about Jorge Soler.
First off, the Cubs are considered favorites, but the Phillies are definite contenders. Ruben Amaro Jr. made that very clear. "Our scouts have seen him and we like him," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday. "It may come down to where he wants to play and, of course, the money." [Inquirer]
– Soler is 19-years old and waiting to be officially ruled a free agent by Major League Baseball. This fact alone makes sense for the Phillies, who are an aging team that could really use some help in what is considered a very depleted farm system.
– Soler is 6-3, 200 pounds. He's strong and athletic, and seems to translate into a right fielder.
– According to Baseball Prospect Nation, Soler has a "strong competitiveness and good work ethic." So descriptive.
– People who think Soler is going to be one of those players who spends a month or two in the minors and comes right up to the big leagues are likely mistaken. He seemingly will spend a lot of time in the minors and have to adjust to considerably better pitching than he has seen before.
– The biggest part of Soler's game that scouts are salivating over is his power. He has some serious pop, and really could develop into a power hitting corner outfielder.
– Phillies fans will also like to hear that Soler does not strike out very often. Reports say he has great bat speed and quick hands.
– What about his defense? He has a quick release, strong arm, and consistent mechanics. He is a "high effort" outfielder, who has the speed to go along with it. [Baseball Prospect Nation]
– This one from ScoutingBook.com is fun:
He's already showing signs of MLB videogame level power at the plate, and his very strong arm is certainly real. His iffy contact skills and lack of patience at the plate, though, are equally clear indicators that he's still a rather rough gem.
One bonus for his future home in The Show: the youngster already has an electric personality in his toolbox, which means he could be a real cover boy come 2015 or so.
So what are the chances that the Phillies actually pull this off? They're definitely interested, but the Cubs are the clear favorites at this point. CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury said that the Phillies are a "long shot" to get Soler, but regardless, they're in the running.
Soler has a ton of upside, but as always, it's a risk throwing $20+ million at a young player who has never faced top-tier pitching on an everyday basis.