Kris and Jorge
Not that it bothers me that much, because it’s a good place to be. But all the argle barge and foofaraw over Kris Bryant and his service time issues to me have masked that the Cubs have another monster in the opposite corner in the outfield. One who might turn out to be better than Bryant. Yeah, I said it.
While we all are agog at Bryant’s nine homers in spring training, it seems we’ve forgotten that Soler has five n 24 major league games. Those count. It seems we forget that Soler came up and had 12 hits in his first six games, six of them for extra-bases. We’ve lost track that Soler has Bryant’s and Baez’s power, as that ball that was turned into plasma in St. Louis will attest.
It also feels like that Soler suffered from coming up at the same time as Baez. We all became so aware of Baez’s strikeout problems that we became terrified that all the Cubs prospects would have the same problems and this would all fall apart. Did Soler strike out a lot? Yeah, he did. But 25% isn’t that outlandish, especially these days. And as we saw with Alcantara and other prospects around baseball, the adjustment to the major league strike zone isn’t a small one.
More importantly, Soler has the patience to work it out. Both hitting coach John Mallee and Joe Maddon have raved about Soler’s discipline. Mallee claims that Soler has swung at one pitch out of the zone in all of spring training. Whether I buy that exact number or not I don’t know, but clearly he’s made an impression.
His minor league track record show a patient hitter. His walk-rate at high-A was 9%. It was 15% at Double-A and 14% at Triple-A. He gets it.
Maybe were gun-shy because of the lack of reps Soler has gotten the past two years due to injury. We are all aware of “Sample Size All-Stars” and are just wary. But I’m not. I’m all-in on Soler, even if I end up looking like an idiot. He’s clearly the best athlete on the Cubs right now.
Too many people are complaining about not getting to see a generational talent start the year with the Cubs. Well, one already is. The Cubs may have two. Think about that. Let’s all calm down.
Now that the Bryant decision is in, I can laugh at it all now. Two weeks is worth the extra year of course. And the bleatings of Scott Boras is what makes it truly wonderful. Because Scott Boras is the reason that the Cubs are going to claim that extra year of control.
If the Cubs thought they could sign Bryant to one of those extensions that buys out arbitration and maybe a year or two of free agency, they may have already done it. They certainly would have this season or at the latest next winter. But Scott Boras actively tells his clients to not do that. He wants arbitrations and he wants free agency. Unless the Cubs are willing to pay at least close to what Bryant will get on an open market, Boras isn’t going to have him sign dick. He was livid when Jered Weaver didn’t go to free agency and took a discount to stay with the Angels where he was happy.
Don’t give me that Boras works for Bryant. Yeah, in theory. But these guys listen to what he has to say pretty intently, and if Boras is telling them to go to free agency then they’re probably going to. This will come to a head in two years again when the Cubs try and avoid arbitration, just to not have the ugly process, and sign Bryant to a contract. Even that one Boras is going to ask for 15-20 million a year.
At least it’s over now. We know it’ll be a couple weeks. Big deal. i’m sure we can find a way to enjoy Soler, Alcantara, Rizzo, Castro, and Olt in the lineup.