by Ray Kuhn
Raw talent and potential… At this point that is all we can say about Jorge Soler. The outfielder’s value is based largely on the intangible rather than actual on the field performance, but could 2017 be the year where we see that situation change?
It will not cost much to see if that happens, as Soler currently has an ADP 288.63 and is the 68th outfielder to come off the board. I am perfectly willing to gamble with my 20th round selection on my fifth outfield spot. Additionally, there aren’t many targets who offer the true upside that Soler provides.
When taking a look at Kansas City’s new right fielder, there are a few things to keep in mind. Soler is 25-years old and, in three seasons, has a combined total of 682 AB. Health has been a factor, as he has dealt with some nagging injuries, as has playing time. The latter has been performance driven, though it is a bit of a catch-22 as Soler hasn’t had continued success, but he also hasn’t been given the chance to truly prove himself. This season that appears primed to change.
If you combine Soler’s stats across three seasons in which he has seen action, he has 27 HR and 98 RBI. That is more than a full season’s worth of AB, but it is a solid indication of what we can expect to see.
Power is not going to be an issue as he has proven, despite the injuries, to have an above average Power Index. In 2015 he had a Power Index of 107 with an expected Power of 123, as compared to marks of 112 and 91 last season. In 2015 he also posted a Hard Contact rate of 110, so he does make explosive contact. That is when he makes contact, however.
Over the past two seasons he has made contact 67% and 68% of the time, hitting .262 in 2015 and .238 last season. Based on the hit percentages Soler put up in those two seasons, 37% and 28% respectively, I would expect to see his batting average meet in the middle with a reasonable floor of .250.
Staying healthy is going to be the most critical thing. That should ensure he gets a chance to stay in the lineup and then find some consistency. At that point the hope would be that his power will normalize and return to his 2015 levels. If that is the case he should be able manage 500 AB, which would make 20 HR and 70 RBI possible. Based on his talent there would be the potential for more, and with his ADP being as low as it is Soler is a very low risk investment.
Source – Baseball HQ
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|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|