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One of the Cubs’ top prospects, outfielder Jorge Soler, on whom the team spent some $30 million back in June, hasn’t been in Mesa very long, playing with the Cubs’ rookie league team. Heck, he hasn’t been in the States all that long.

But that’s not stopping the Cubs from promoting Soler to full season A-ball. Soler, 20, will join the Peoria Chiefs, where he’s likely to finish out the year. It’s about as high as you reasonably could have expected Soler to get this year, so it will be exciting to see how he does.

In 61 plate appearances in Mesa, Soler was hitting .241/.328/.389, with a couple homers and eight steals. The stint there was less about being productive, and more about adjusting to life in the States, and professional ball. Even if his numbers at Peoria aren’t great this year, it’s no real concern, given that Soler hadn’t played organized ball in almost a year when he started playing in Mesa.

  • MightyBear

    Good to see about Soler. I hope he does well. What is the ETA for him based on your professional opinion? Thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’ll stick with late 2014 for now.

    • MightyBear

      Thanks Luke.

  • Dan

    Is Almora going to move up soon, too?

  • Flashfire

    Wow that’s an aggressive promotion — especially with a weakish outfield in Boise. They must really see something they like in what he’s done so far. Good luck to Jorge, on the million to one chance you’re reading this.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Not really that aggressive. Remember that he had been playing at a fairly high level in Cuba before he defected. He should be able to handle a more advanced league more quickly than a guy like Almora who just came out of high school.

      • fromthemitten

        Looks like it might also give Chicago fans a chance to check him out

  • beerhelps

    Missed my chance to see Baez this year, gotta get to a game to see Soler.

  • 100 Years of Tears

    The Chiefs play in Kane County September 1-3 for those of you in the ‘burbs… can’t wait to see this guy.

    • Dave H

      Gonna have about 5 – 6 guys out at that game.

  • Cryinmybluecoolaid

    Any chance it was Peoria over Boise is based on the other Cuban players on the Chief’s roster? Keep him with players he knows like Concepcion & Cabezas to help with the adjustment.

    • Joecub23

      Boise has to play in Vancouver, Canada. He would have issues going over the border. Hoping to see Almora in Boise soon.

      • JB88

        Why? If he arrived in the U.S., he has a passport. And Canada doesn’t have an embargo against Cuban-made objects.

        I’m highly skeptical that the reason Soler isn’t going to Boise has anything to do with his nationality.

      • college of coaches

        Funny, I seem to remember that the Cubs decided to release former no. 1 draftee Mark Pawlek because he forgot to pack his passport on a Boise Hawks road-trip to Vancouver. Apparently, it was the last straw in a series of setbacks and antics.

        • college of coaches

          *Pawelek

        • Edwin

          They were probably still pissed about the time he injured himself tripping over his Playstation.

    • http://dabearsman.wordpress.com DaBearsMan

      That’s a great point. That probably will help all of the Cubans’ transitions.

    • Ogyu

      Better Cuban restaurants in Peoria than in Boise.

    • Windy City Misfit

      “Chiefs hitting coach Barbaro Garbey was born in Cuba and defected in 1980 before playing for the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.”

      Maybe this helps also .. maybe there is a slight language barrier also?

  • BlueHorizons

    Excellent! It’s just a few weeks too late to have seen him when the Chiefs played in South Bend, unfortunately. (I can’t believe the Chiefs only come to town ONCE during the season, geesh!)

  • Mike S

    Gives a reason to go to the Chiefs vs Kane County Game!

  • d-seg

    Finally, living close to Peoria sucks a little less now.

  • ssckelley

    Speaking of promotions it would be nice if they promoted Vogelbach to Daytona. He has not missed a beat since being promoted to Boise and I wonder just how much more they need to see of 26 year old Ridling at Daytona.

    • Patrick W.

      I’ve seen the last three Boise games, and Vogelbach has looked pretty good in the last two. He sat the first game of the series with Rock Shoulders at first, and defensively, at least for me, Shoulders actually looked solid at first.

      • Patrick W.

        The Hawks also had Wilson Contreras in RF for game 1 of the series, and he was flat out lost out there.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      There is no chance the Cubs will have Vogelbach skip Peoria and jump straight to Daytona. They might, I suppose, move Hoilman to Daytona and slot Vogelbach into Peoria, but I don’t really expect that either.

      • ssckelley

        I was thinking about that as well but I think Vogelbach has to leapfrog past Hoilman at some point. But Hoilman has played in the outfield so perhaps he could move there and give room for Vogelbach to play first base.

  • Turn Two

    Bruce Levine on Waddle and Silvy today said Tony Campana’s name has come up amongst White Sox front office looking for a speed guy. Also said still a chance (however small) Baltimore who wants a left handed bat to replace Thome could look at Lahair.

  • Drew7

    Glad I just bought tickets for Aug 25th. This makes the trip to Peoria even more exciting.

  • calicubsfan007

    I really can’t complain about a late 2014 promotion. @Luke, if Jackson flops in the majors, would that speed up Soler’s development?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Nope. The Cubs are going to develop Soler as best and as quickly as they can. Ultimately it will be Soler, not the Cubs or anyone else, who defines that time table. Jackson’s success or struggles are completely unrelated.

      • calicubsfan007

        @Luke: What minor leaguer would be the most affected then if Jackson flops? I mean, would it be Almora?

        • AB

          Ja Hoon Ha.

          • calicubsfan007

            @AB: Isn’t he the one who ran into the wall and has a relatively serious head injury right now?

            • fortyonenorth

              He was on the (15 day?) DL, but played last night.

              • calicubsfan007

                Well, i am glad that he is okay now. (=

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          This is hard to answer.

          The Cubs are not going to rush or delay anyone based on how Jackson does. If Jackson does poorly, it affects no one currently in the minors other than maybe Dave Sappelt (who should be up in Sept anyway).

          If Jackson does well and another center fielder becomes ready for promotion, Jackson can just be moved to a corner slot.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            If Jackson flops, then the Cubs probably will acquire someone over the winter. Bourn will be a free agent (although the Nats and Phils will be hot for him, and the Braves can spend to keep him). The Cubs could get a Coco Crips or Marlon Byrd “stop gap” player on a 2 year contract, too.

            • Flashfire

              If Jackson does flop, what about letting Jackson keep striking out for half a season while Szczur shows whether or not he can hack it? It seems kind of silly to spend big on a 2 or 3 year stopgap with a potential major league caliber (not great, by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid starter) center fielder less than a year away. Especially since, if both Szczur and Almora work out, Szczur can be traded in 3 years for quality minor leaguers.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Szczur won’t be ready by next year and the Cubs gain nothing from rushing him.

                • Flashfire

                  He’s going to be 24 next year, isn’t he? At some point it isn’t rushing — it’s put up or shut up time.

                  • J R

                    Yeah, I didn’t realize that Szcur was that old. I know he played football, but I thought he was more like 21. Damn, he’s an old man for where he’s playing..

            • AB

              I heard Reed Johnson is a free agent

              • AB

                Excuse me, I meant Nucleus Johnson

            • J R

              I read somewhere that Bourn may command 16-18 mill. on a multi year deal this offseason. I don’t see the FO touching that with a 10 ft. pole. But I do like his game.

              • MichiganGoat

                Me too I think he is the type of player the FO loves but the question becomes when does the FO expect us to be serious at competing for the division. If its in 2-3 he’d be a nice piece if 4-5 then it might not be a good investment.

    • baldtaxguy

      Soler plays center, or is projected at center? I thought I read corner OF?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        He can play center now, but he’s projected as a future RF, partly because of his huge arm.

  • J R

    Luke or Brett, have either of you heard what people think about Soler thus far. Are they impressed? Do they think he’s got it? I am just curious to know what people think of him now that he’s been playing the states for a month or so..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve heard several first-hand accounts, and they all say basically the same thing: unbelievable physical specimen, sky is the limit, looks like a beast.

      • J R

        That is great to hear!

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Rite now…Jorge Soler’s game is way better than jackson’s at this rate..if Jackson continues to struggle weve got to find a better solution at center… you look at Rizzo from last year to this year..sooo much better..i think Jackson was brought up to early

    • gocatsgo2003

      Or maybe it’s the same exact thing, as Rizzo’s summer call-up with the Pads occurred on June 9 before being aborted with him being sent down to AAA on July 21. In the meantime, he looked like a fish out of water, batting .098 with 36 Ks in 98 ABs (36.7% K rate) including 9 Ks in his first 21 ABs.

      Moral of the story: No reason not to give Jackson PLENTY of time to get used to seeing MLB-level pitching in a lost season. Assuming he keeps his confidence up, it could be better in the long run.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Peoria plays in Beloit this coming weekend, Friday thru Sunday.

    5412

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Glad you’ve been commenting lately, 5412. I like your style.

  • ihartrizzo

    Anyone know if he is going to start tonight for Peoria? Just rearranged my schedule and am planning on going to the game (1.5 hrs away from Burlington).

  • 5412

    Szcur looked plenty poised in ST.

  • Fastball

    I think he was brought up to early and I think he is not going to be an everyday Major League Outfielder because he has serious issues at the plate. He has all kinds of physical attributes no denying that. He is and has been terrible at making contact. I wonder if he has had an eye exam? Maybe the boy just can’t see for shit and strikes out all the time. Wouldn’t be the first time somebody thought they had good eye sight and come to find out they don’t. I remember my freshman year in college my BA wasn’t good and I wasn’t seeing the ball like I always had. Got contacts and the whole world looked different and my pitching really improved in a hurry. Maybe it’s just that simple

  • die hard

    Hope this Soler ecclipses his peers

  • Cubs1967

    for those of you in the Fox Valley/Oswego/Tri-Cities area Kane County ends their season against Peora on Sept 2nd/3rd; great chance to see Soler after about 20 plus games in the minors. tickets still available.

    • BleedingCubbieBlue

      I am going on Sunday to Beloit. I live about 20 miles from Beliot. I wish Amora and Baez were still there too. I have already see Baez though and watched him sail a HR over the score board.

      • https://twitter.com/cubsfantroy @cubsfantroy

        I live 15 minutes from Telfer Park and have yet to get there this year.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Depending on the weather, we may ride up Sunday also. Find an old, fat, bald guy with a white goatee and say hello.

    Last time we went up there I had a nice conversation with Sandberg, thanking him for his HOF remarks. It really resonated with my generation.

    regards,
    5412

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