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Soler offers parting shot before Cubs callup

Chicago's No. 5 prospect goes yard off Walker, heads for 'The Show'
August 26, 2014

Another piece of the Chicago Cubs' future puzzle is on his way to "The Show."

After hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, outfielder Jorge Soler exited Monday's 8-0 victory at Tacoma. He departed Triple-A Iowa after just 32 contests, and according to, he will join Chicago for Wednesday's game at Cincinnati.

The No. 5 Cubs prospect batted .282/.378/.618 in his first taste of the Pacific Coast League this season. That line came on the heels of a blistering 22-game stay with Double-A Tennessee, during which the Havana, Cuba native hit .415/.494/.862 with six home runs and 22 RBIs.

"He's a special kid," Iowa hitting coach Bryan Harper said. "He's strong as can be. What we saw this year, even though it was just a couple hundred at-bats, was what we were all expecting from him. I think he's lived up to it."

Soler missed half of last season with a fractured left tibia and sustained a pair of hamstring injuries this spring. The 22-year-old didn't see regular sustained action until early July with the Smokies.

"The main thing is he's healthy," Harper said. "With the injury last year and a couple of setbacks this year, the fact that he's healthy means you see a new guy. He's made some really good adjustments."

Soler joined the I-Cubs on July 24 and batted .286 with three home runs and seven RBIs through his first 10 games.

"He came up, was really hot, swinging the bat real good, and then he went into a little bit of a slump last week," Harper said. "I talked to him one time, told him a couple things to adjust -- more so just on his approach -- and right away, he made an adjustment. For the last three or four games, he's been hitting the ball as good as he was when he first got here."

Soler ended his Triple-A stint on a five-game hitting streak, during which he's batted .550 with three homers and 10 RBIs. On Monday, he smacked an opposite-field shot off No. 1 Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker before getting the call.

He became the latest top Cubs prospect to graduate to the big league, joining's No. 5 overall prospect Javier Baez, second baseman Arismendy Alcantara and pitcher Kyle Hendriks.

The Cubs signed the outfielder to a nine-year deal in June 2012 when he was just 20. Soler is already on Chicago's 40-man roster and becomes the second member of the Cubs' "Core Four" -- along with Baez -- to receive his big league call. Top Cubs prospect Kris Bryant and No. 4 Albert Almora remain at Iowa and Tennessee respectively.

 "It's an exciting time to be in player development with the Cubs," Harper said. "It's fun to talk to kids at this level about, 'OK, here's what's going to happen in the big leagues. Here's what you're going to need to do.' We have some talent and some guys who can really make an impact in the big leagues. It's a real exciting time for us."

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.