The Chicago Cubs continue to make a mockery of the player of the week system in the minors, with another couple prospects taking home their league’s honors.
First, there’s Jorge Soler, who was an absolute no-brainer to take the Southern League’s award after his dominant return to action after a prolonged recovery from a third hamstring injury. All Soler did in his first seven AA games since that return is go 12-for-23 with 2 doubles, 5 homers, 3 walks, and just 6 strikeouts. yesterday, he went 0-3 with two strikeouts, but, hey … the award had already been decided.
On the year, Soler is at .397/.471/.808 in 22 games split between AA and rookie ball (his numbers in AA are actually better than the rehab numbers down in Mesa, lest you think that was inflating his line).
No, I don’t think you’re crazy if you let yourself wonder what the Soler-Kris Bryant offensive competition at AA might have looked like if Soler had been healthy all year. In that scenario, does Soler do what Bryant did? Probably not. But every time he steps on the field this year, he does the kind of things we were seeing Bryant do.
Then, there’s Jeimer Candelario, who deservedly won the Midwest League’s player of the week honors after hitting .500 with 5 doubles and 3 homers on the week, walking and striking out 3 times each.
It was a rough early go for Candelario, 20, in 2014, having been tasked with an aggressive promotion to High-A Daytona, which did not go well. He was sent back down to Kane County to get back on track, and it looks like the former top ten Cubs prospect is doing that – he’s hitting .313/.377/.625 in July. Don’t let the demotion take Candelario off of your radar – at 20, he’s still plenty young for the MWL, and he had been a guy steadily succeeding up the ladder from a very young age. The struggles this year could help him in the long run.