The flashes have always been there. The tremendous power, the impressive physique, the youth. They have only missed the numbers and consistency in the case of Jorge Soler, who has been destroying the ball this spring and has everything aligned to be a starter with the Royals.
In a somewhat similar way, Kansas City has embarked on a process of reconstruction like the one in Miami – perhaps not so deep or bitter – and seen depart some of those players who brought a World Series to the city, including Lorenzo Cain.
The goodbye of the stellar baseball opens an almost safe space for Soler in the gardens and an alignment in need of strength as the Cuban can provide, who leads – with another player – the spring training with six homers, three doubles, 11 RBIs and a fabulous OPS of 1.072.
Soler, to be sure, has been on everyone’s lips in this March, but is it a pre-season mirage or the prelude to that great contest that everyone has been waiting for since June 30, 2012, to sign a pact of $ 30 million for nine campaigns with the Cubs?
Certainly, some injuries have slowed down Soler’s development, but people who have worked close to him -also emphasize his human quality- point to him working much more on his mental strength, on how to overcome adversity and prevail in situations of pressure.
Whatever the reason, Soler still has not been able to fulfill the promise that prompted him to debut -with a home run included- with Chicago on August 27, 2014, to finish with a .292 average in just 24 games.
What came next has put some question marks on the burly gardener. In four seasons he barely hit .244 with 29 homers and 104 RBIs in just 246 games. Too little for such abundant talent.
Now, at age 26, it seems that talent will have a better chance to show. Soler has modified his diet, eliminating sweets and some red meat, and you see the change in 20 pounds less, in a greater lightness, in physical and mental strength.
Soler not only came in ideal weight for the spring but brought in his luggage months of training in the benevolent winter of Miami with coach Mike Tosar – the man who helped Yonder Alonso to connect 28 home runs in 2017 – and a New Approach in the box to better identify the launches, and find a dose of patience and discipline.
If at any time last season Soler felt that nothing was working for him, that things were going bad, these days he seems to have regained his smile and confidence. He has no other because he has run out of options to be sent to the Minors. It is a now or never.
The Royals are impressed with Soler’s progress and attitude, but more than a wish is a necessity. The Royals, like the Marlins, are almost destined to start from scratch and a man like the Cuban can do something more bearable the winding passage to the ports of relevance.
In the end, everything will be in your hands and in your mind. It will depend on him that these flashes of greatness become long periods of life, that finally, the world can see the real talent of Jorge Soler.
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