Outfielder Jorge Soler was asked Thursday if he knew how much Chicago Cubs fans were paying attention to his exploits this spring.

After listening to the translation, he just smiled.


“Si,” he replied.

No translation necessary.

Soler homered in his first at-bat in an intrasquad game at HoHoKam Stadium, showing the kind of power the Cubs were looking for when they handed him a nine-year, $30 million contract out of Cuba.

Of course, it was just an intrasquad game, and a little too soon to be fitting Soler for a Cubs uniform. He’s probably slated to go to Class-A Daytona, but said he doesn’t care where he goes.

The Cubs have had some “can’t miss” prospects before that somehow missed badly, including Corey Patterson, Felix Pie and Brooks Kieschnick.

Soler knows the history, and doesn’t want to fall into that category.

“I want to do everything on the field to do better for the Cubs,” he said.

“He wants to be different,” coach Franklin Font, his translator, added. “He wants to leave his mark for Chicago.”

Manager Dale Sveum said Soler’s bat speed was impressive, as expected.

“That’s what we’ve talked about all the time,” he said. “That’s the kind of stuff that’s on the radar now. The guy following him up (Javier Baez) had some pretty good bat speed through the strike zone, too, as well as (Junior) Lake. There are some guys on that radar niow that can possibly be impact players someday, too.”