MLB Pipeline has wrapped up its positional prospect rankings by digging in on the top outfield prospects in the game. Although guys like Albert Almora and Billy McKinney are too far off at this point (keeping in mind that a top outfielders list like this could really be 30 deep if it was going to match the other spots), the Chicago Cubs did have a notable name up top:
That’s a really fantastic ranking when you consider that the only two guys he’s behind are Byron Buxton (last year’s top prospect overall on most lists, and under consideration to repeat this year) and Joc Pederson (who trailed only Kris Bryant in AAA dominance this year, and he did it all year at age 22).
It was a huge year for Soler in 2014, from the lows of repeat hamstring injuries, to the highs of tearing through the upper minors so quickly that he reached the big leagues in August and did this in his first at bat:
Two days later, he double-dipped on the Cardinals:
The rest of Soler’s debut wasn’t quite as thunderous, as the league adjusted and he didn’t quite have time to adjust back before the season ended. Hopefully that comes in 2015, and Soler’s impressive upper-minors plate discipline (19% K rate at AA, 20.5% at AAA; 15.2% BB rate at AA, 13.4% BB rate at AAA) bodes well for his future.
Assuming he locks down the right field job in Spring Training, as is expected, Soler won’t be eligible for lists like this after another week or so of playing time. Then I start dreaming about when Kris Bryant also graduates off of these lists, and he and Soler and Anthony Rizzo are mashing back-to-back-to-back in the Cubs’ lineup, hopefully surrounded by other successful bats.