The Southern League announced Monday that Tennessee Smokies outfielder Jorge Soler has been named the league's Hitter of the Week for the time period between July 7-13. Soler becomes the fifth Smokies player this season to receive a weekly honor from the circuit after alum Kris Bryant, outfielder Rubi Silva and right-handed starters Corey Black and Dae-Eun Rhee.
The 22-year-old in that time span compiled a .556 batting average (10-18) with four runs, two doubles, four homers and eight RBI in six contests. Soler is just coming off one of the best games in his Minor League Baseball career Sunday, having recorded his first two-homer game since signing with the Chicago Cubs as a non-drafted free agent, in addition to driving in a career-high five RBI against the Jacksonville Suns.
In that time period, the outfielder paced all Minor Leaguers with a 1.333 slugging percentage and 1.952 OPS, in addition to ranking tied for second in roundtrippers and eighth in batting average in that company. Soler also paced all Southern Leaguers in average, homers, RBI, extra-base hits (six), on-base percentage (.619), slugging percentage and OPS this past week.
Overall in 14 games with the Smokies this season, the outfielder has posted a .426 average (20-47), adding nine runs scored, nine doubles, five homers and 17 RBI. In seven contests thus far in the month of July, the 22-year-old has been stellar, recording a .522 clip (12-23) with five runs, two doubles, five homers and ten RBI.
Soler was signed by the Cubs to a nine-year Major League contract on June 30, 2012, and was rated by Baseball America prior to this season as the 41st-best overall prospect, in addition to the No. five Cubs farmhand. Overall in 110 career games at the Minor League level, the Cuba native has hit .309 (128-414) with 19 homers and 83 RBI.
Soler is the fifth Smokies player to receive a weekly honor from the Southern League this season, after outfielder Rubi Silva (June 16-22), former infielder Kris Bryant (May 5-12, May 26-June 2 and June 2-9) and right-handed starters Corey Black (April 21-28) and Dae-Eun Rhee (June 22-28). Overall this season, a Tennessee player has been named Hitter or Pitcher of the Week on seven occasions.