Wrigley Field gave Chicago Cubs rookie Jorge Soler a sunny and warm ovation before his first home at-bat Monday afternoon, and he responded with a double to right field in the bottom of the second. In doing so, Soler became the third player since 1914 to start his major league career with at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five games. The others: Hall of Famer Enos "Country" Slaughter, and Boston Red Sox infielder Will "No Nickname Yet" Middlebrooks.
Soler, a 22-year-old from Cuba who slugged .700 at three levels in the minors this season, whacked a hanging breaking ball from Jimmy Nelson into the right-field corner and later scored. He added another double in the sixth to finish 2-for-4 in the Cubs' 4-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Soler has three home runs and four doubles in 20 plate appearances so far. He also has three singles, even though those are kind of boring by comparison. Via the Associated Press:
Soler is batting .526 with three homers and seven RBIs.
''I have been a little bit surprised,'' he said through a translator. ''I expected it to go well, but not as well as it's gone so far.''
Soler figures to cool down, but let's just worry about that if it happens. So far, Soler has hit enough to power the Cubs all by himself!
The Cubs methodically are remaking their roster with impressive young hitters, and have more in the minor leagues on the way. Their infamous World Series drought might not be on the cusp of getting quenched, but the Cubs definitely are priming themselves to make another run at a championship with the likes of Soler, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Starlin Castro and Kris Bryant — who finished the season at Class AAA.
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