HAVANA TIMES — Jorge Soler is the latest in a string of Cuban baseball stars and prospects to have a smashing start in Major League Baseball. The 22-year-old outfielder homered in his first at bat on Tuesday in Cincinnati and went 8-for-15 in his first four games (against the Reds and St. Louis), including three homers and seven RBIs.
Soler fled Cuba in 2011 and obtained a $30 million contract with the Cubs in June 2012. After getting accustomed to US style baseball in the minors he was called up to show what he can do at the top level.
The towering 6 ft. 4 in. right fielder played his rookie season with the La Habana team in the Cuban league and took part in international competitions in 2010.
Before being called up to majors, Soler had an excellent minor league season in both Double A and Triple A with a combined batting average of .340 with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs.
Soler took his time making the transition from Cuban baseball and credits Manny Ramirez, player/coach at the Cuba’s Iowa Triple A franchise for helping out.
“I learned a lot from Manny,” Soler told MLB.com. “When I was with him in Iowa, he was always talking to me about hitting, about personal stuff, what I’m doing on the field, off the field. He’s a tremendous person. I always tried to be around him and tried to be the best I can.”
Given a rest on Sunday, Soler will now have his home team debut at Wrigley Field on Monday when the last place Cubs begin a three-game series with the National League Central Division leading Milwaukee Brewers.