One day after manager Dale Sveum cited the need for power, Cuban prospect Jorge Soler put on a long ball display in his first day of spring training with the major league team.
Soler said he hopes to be with the Cubs by next season, though Sveum insisted he's not on a fast track to the Cubs.
"Guys like him, they haven't played that much baseball," he said. "They've done a lot of things obviously and we all know about the tools. But fast track? There's no reason to do that. He still has to play and learn so much and face better pitchers on a consistent basis, older pitchers who can do things. That experience factor comes in handy."
Javier Baez, the top prospect, also will be in camp, and they will be in the same lineup during Cactus League games.
"Not on purpose, but it will happen," Sveum said. "I'm not going to make a lineup out to make sure Baez and Soler are in the same lineup the same day.
Not unless the boss tells me to."
Sveum was joking.
Soler, he said, reminded him during batting practice of a right-handed version of Cliff Floyd.
"He backspins balls pretty good," he said. "Pretty impressive batting practice for the first day out there. The ball comes off his bat like you want a ball to come off the bat if you're a manager. I'm really just interested in watching him on the field."
Sveum: Soler not on fast track to make Cubs
Chicago Tribune | Feb 16