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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JORGE SOLER OUTFIELDER KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Well I guess there can be such a thing as a post-post-post-POST hype sleeper made good.  As we always say here year after year, some of the biggest profits in annual fantasy baseball leagues center on post-hype sleeper hitters and pitchers who finally make good on their talents and mostly after years of letting down their initial owners.  Whether it was due to being rushed to majors, injuries, or simply needing more time to develop, these players can turn out to be some of the best investments you can make due to the combination of high upside and low cost.  Such a scenario is currently unfolding in Kansas City where outfielder Jorge Soler is developing into the high-end bat he was originally projected to be as a top Cuban import prospect for the Chicago Cubs.  Having made his MLB debut way back in 2014 at the age of 22, Soler unfortunately struggled so badly to hit major league pitching that the Cubs threw in the towel on him prior to the 2017 season in dealing him away to the Royals.  The Royals meanwhile bought very low on Soler in thinking that the big power/average combinations he put up in the minor leagues would eventually manifest themselves with some more seasoning.  2017 was not to be that year though as Soler battled injuries and hit just .144 with 2 home runs in only 35 games with the team.  Be that as it may, the rebuilding Royals gave Soler another long look this past spring and almost from the start of camp, he looked like a brand new player.  Spraying line drives all over the field and showcasing decent power, Soler claimed a starting outfield spot to begin the season which put the rest into play.

Fast forward to present day as Soler comes off a Tuesday game where he slammed his 5 home run of the season and raised his batting average to a scorching .324 with 15 runs scored, 15 RBI, and even a stolen base.  Soler has certainly helped himself at the dish by developing a very patient approach which is borne out with his sky-high 15.8 BB/9 rate.  Yes, Soler still strikes out a bunch as he carries around a 24.1 K/9 but that numbers is down sharply from years past.  About the only red flag to speak of here is a .411 BABIP which is obviously not sustainable but overall Soler has been tremendous.  The best part in all this is that Soler is still widely available in many fantasy baseball leagues and he is doing more than enough to justify daily OF 3 usage in almost all mixed formats this season.  Pick up Soler where available as the talent that made him such a talked-about prospect in the first place is really beginning to take shape. 


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