With the promotion of Javier Baez to the big leagues, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant figure to be the next top prospects called up to The Show. And Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs plans for both players prior to Friday’s game against the Rays.
Jorge Soler had another huge game at the plate Friday. Soler went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, two walks, three RBI and three runs scored. Soler raised his slash line to .313/.431/.750. In 16 games with the I-Cubs, Soler has hit six doubles and five home runs while walking (10) almost has many times has he’s struck out (11). And his OPS is an impressive 1.181.
Jorge Soler is on the 40-man roster and as long as he stays healthy he is expected to be called up in September once Iowa has finished its season.
As for Kris Bryant, he was 1-for-4 on Friday night with two runs scored and his slash line after 48 games at the Triple-A level stands at .321/.433/.667. Bryant has hit 13 doubles and 15 home runs for a 1.100 OPS.
Theo Epstein reiterated Friday the team is looking for Kris Bryant to finish his first full season of pro ball with Iowa, and not in the majors.
Theo Epstein told the beat writers Friday, “I still don’t foresee a scenario where Kris would get called up this year. It would take extraordinary circumstances to call up anybody in his first full professional season. For us not only would the player have to be doing extraordinary things, but there would have to be unique circumstances with the big league team, where we were in a pennant race and we really needed that boost.”
Theo Epstein assured the beat writers the Cubs decision to have Bryant finish the year with the I-Cubs was not a business decision but what they feel is best for the development of the player.
Epstein did not say when the front office expects Bryant will make his big league debut. But it would be safe to say that as long as he stays on his current development path, Bryant should be up with the big league team at some point in late April next season.
Kris Bryant still has work to do, both in the field and at the plate despite putting up video game-like numbers this season in the minors.
After a lull, it is hard to call what he went through a slump. Kris Bryant has heated back up. Bryant entered play Friday with the most home runs in the PCL (15) since his promotion on June 19 and tied for the minor league lead in home runs (37). Over his last ten games, Kris Bryant is hitting .355/.545/.742 with three doubles and three home runs with nine walks and 12 strikeouts for a 1.287 OPS.
Kris Bryant’s 15th Triple-A Home Run – Aug. 7
Theo Epstein did not say that Jorge Soler would be called up in September. But all signs are pointing to the Cubs doing so in order to continue his development.
Epstein explained, “Ever since he came off the disabled list the second time, he’s had consistent, high quality at bat. He’s not swinging at chase pitches. He’s focused throughout the at-bat. That’s not something we taught him, that’s something he’s shown up with.”
Jorge Soler’s 5th Triple-A Home Run – Aug. 8
While the buzz Javier Baez is creating for the Cubs right now is bringing an excitement to the team that has been missing for years, Jorge Soler should help bring the future a little more into focus in September going into the off-season, especially with the thought Kris Bryant could be up not long after the 2015 season begins.