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Jorge Soler (OF, KC) - Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers


By mikelachance816 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 325

CURRENT ADP: ~345 overall

ANALYSIS: You’ve probably heard this one before, but for the umpteenth time, Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler is officially on sleeper watch. The 26-year-old has been flirting with a breakthrough ever since he made the move to the American League in 2016. Amid their World Series run, the Cubs were happy to part ways with one of their brightest young talents in exchange for Wade Davis, and while Chicago won that trade (and a ring), the Royals have been left wondering when their end of the bargain might finally turn up. It’s been a long waiting game when it comes to Soler, with the promise of power instructing us to sit tight and stay patient.

Since time is in Soler’s favor, it is worth considering he reduced that previously mentioned strikeout rate by six percent last season. The pitches Soler faced weren’t easy either - in 2016, opposing pitchers threw fastballs more than half the time, relying on breaking balls in just 30% of his plate appearances. In 2018, that number increased to 36% and pitchers weren’t afraid to throw inside with the slider.Against breaking balls last year Soler managed just 15 hits, good for a .190/.195/.316 line and zero home runs. So how will Soler adjust if he sees a barrage of sliders in 2019? Patience. Since entering the league in 2015, Soler has been among the league’s best when it comes to drawing a walk. He earned a free pass close to 11% of the time last season; his nine-game walk streak ranks 11th among active hitters.

The main concern is obviously consistent at-bats, but an improvement in defense should keep Soler in the outfield. At the very least, he should get time at the DH spot to keep his bat in the lineup. He doesn't warrant a late-round pick if you’re in a standard league, but for anything deeper, Soler could be worth a look as we hold our breath for a long-awaited breakout.


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