Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fantasy Focus: 2015 Fantasy Prospects- Jorge Soler

Before we get started, I would like to remind everyone that I did a series on fantasy prospects last year. A review of the top names I did profiles on included Jurickson Profar, Javier Baez, Gregory Polanco, Oscar Tavares, Dylan Bundy and Jameson Taillon.

Profar- missed all of 2014 with a torn shoulder muscle.  Will miss most or all of 2015 after undergoing labrum surgery a few days ago.

Baez- Showed tremendous power, but also struck out over 40% of the time with a BA under .200.

Polanco- Started off strong but slumped badly after advance scouts and opposing pitchers found the holes in his swing.  He hit just .213 in the second half.

Tavares- hit a HR in his first MLB game against the Giants.  Struggled after that.  Was tragically killed in an auto accident in the Dominican Republic while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bundy and Taillon both underwent Tommy John surgery early in the season and did not pitch in the major leagues in 2014.

There is no such thing as a can't miss prospect!

Jorge Soler, OF.  DOB:  2/25/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 215 lbs.

2013 High A:  .281/.343/.467, 8 HR, 5 SB, 8.9 BB%, 16.1 K%, 236 PA.
2014 AA:        .415/.494/.862, 6 HR, 15.2 BB%, 19 K%, 79 PA.
2014 AAA:     .282/.378/.618, 8 HR, 13.4 BB%, 20.5 K%, 127 PA.
2014 MLB:     .292/.330/.573, 5 HR, 1 SB, 6.2 BB%, 24.3 K%, 97 PA.
2015 Steamer Projection:  .262/.318/.470, 24 HR, 7.2 BB%, 21.2 K%, 556 PA.

Soler was signed out of Cuba in the summer of 2012 to a 9 year/$30 M contract.  Just as a point of reference, with current signing rules, the Cubs would have had to pay all $30 M as a signing bonus plus an additional $30 M penalty plus be limited to $300 K bonuses for international players for the next two years.  Soler has produced terrific numbers when he has played but has been beset by several leg injuries.  His 2014 MLB numbers would suggest that he will be an immediate start in 2015 but I would caution that he is well below the 1000 PA threshold that Brian Sabean says is necessary for a prospect to be really ready to play MLB and of course there is the injury history.  Soler is costing approximately $15 in fantasy auction drafts and his ADP is 90 or the  8'th round in 12 team leagues.  If he makes his Streamer projection, he will be approximately worth his cost.  He could break out and become one of the most valuable fantasy assets in your league, or he could pull another hammy in late April and miss a large portion of the season, or pitchers could find some holes in his swing like they did with Polanco last year.  I know I will at least consider drafting him for my fantasy team in my draft.

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