It's been roughly 25 months since Jorge Soler signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs, but he's had a hard time staying on the field.
Soler went 2-for-3 in the 117th professional game of his American career Monday night, extending his slash line with Double-A Tennessee to 410/.500/.852.
The 22-year-old Cuban outfielder missed several months last season after fouling a ball off his leg and had separate injuries to each hamstring earlier this year. But when he's been on the field, he's shown exactly why the Cubs gave him a spot on the 40-man roster two summers ago.
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In those 117 games, Soler has hit 20 homers with 87 RBI, 84 runs, 32 doubles and 17 steals while posting a .311 average and .914 OPS. This season, he has six homers, nine doubles and 21 RBI in 21 games with Tennessee, earning the Southern League Hitter of the Week award earlier this month.
After Soler's second hamstring injury this spring, the Cubs came up with a special program to try to help shape the way he ran in the outfield and on the basepaths. They put the plan in motion in Arizona last month, where Soler had the chance to meet and learn from Manny Ramirez.
Soler told Smokies radio announcer Mick Gillispie that he grew up idolizing Ramirez and absorbed a lot from the iconic slugger as the 42-year-old was tuning up for his post at Triple-A Iowa as player/coach.
Soler has taken his game to the next level since and a promotion to Triple-A could be coming soon.
Check out Soler's complete interivew with Gillispie above.