Reds vs Royals: Preview, pitching matchups and prediction

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 12: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first past Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 12: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first past Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 5
Next
The Royals play the Reds in Cincinnati.
OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Jorge Soler #12 of the Kansas City Royals returns to the dugout after an at bat against the Oakland Athletics. The Royals play the Reds in Cincinnati. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

Royals DH is starting to fulfill potential

When the Chicago Cubs signed 20-year-old Cuban Jorge Soler in June of 2012, many around baseball believed he was destined to become a superstar. Rushed to the majors a little more than two years later, Soler made quite a first impression.

In his MLB debut against the Cincinnati Reds on August 27, 2014, the right-handed slugger went 2-for-4 including a homer off Mat Latos. During a 24-game audition that summer, Soler slashed .292./.330/.573 with five round-trippers and 20 ribbies. Even though the Cubs were in rebuilding mode at the time, it appeared they had a cornerstone piece to build around.

However, two pedestrian-like seasons followed in the Windy City and Soler found himself falling out of favor. He was shipped to Kansas City for closer Wade Davis after the 2016 season. This is one deal where Cubs President Theo Epstein played the wrong hand.

Although Soler played just 96 games during his first two seasons in Kansas City, all the promise and potential was fully realized in 2019. Playing in all 162 games, Soler led the American League with 48 homers, collected 33 doubles and drove in an AL second-best 117 runs. Soler also finished in the top10 in the junior circuit in slugging percentage, extra-base hits and OPS.

It doesn’t appear he’s slowing down anytime soon. The 28-year-old Soler has opened his 2020 season pillaging AL pitching once again. Slashing .286./.370/.556 with five homers and 10 RBIs, Soler is indeed becoming that cornerstone piece to build a franchise around.