This is the light at the end of the tunnel that Cubs executives keep talking about.
Late Tuesday night, the Cubs promoted Jorge Soler to Triple-A Iowa and moved Albert Almora up to Double-A Tennessee, bringing two top prospects one step closer to Wrigley Field.
Soler, 22, is expected to be a September call-up, according to two sources familiar with the team’s thinking. The Cuban outfielder is already on the 40-man roster with a $30 million major-league contract.
Soler has finally started to live up to that deal after a series of injuries limited his development time — on top of the nearly two years it took to defect from Cuba, establish residency in Haiti and gain clearance to sign in the United States.
Soler will join a powerful Iowa lineup that already includes Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. This month, Soler hit .459 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 14 games, posting a 1.553 OPS.
Almora became the first player drafted by the Theo Epstein administration with the sixth overall pick in 2012.
After a slow start this season, Almora began to figure it out and started to get hot at advanced Class-A Daytona, hitting .280 with six homers, 20 doubles and 47 RBIs in 88 games.
Almora’s only 20, but he’s said to have great defensive instincts in center field, and a maturity beyond his years after growing up in South Florida with a bilingual background, playing for Team USA and the elite travel squads.