In a previous article, I highlighted the abilities of Cuban phenom Yoennis Cespedes and how the Chicago Cubs should strive to win him over. I still feel this way, although it seems the 26-year-old will be wowed by the big spenders, which will continue to annoy baseball fans outside of the American League East.
Last week, Chicago sent its top scouts to the Dominican Republic to watch Cespedes.
However, the Cubs also looked at Jorge Soler, another Cuban defector who is the 19-year-old version of Cespedes. But with more potential.
If Chicago's plan is really about building youth and a future for this franchise, the Epstein regime must attack the market for Soler with everything they have.
With his 6'3", 210-pound frame, scouts have been comparing him to Hanley Ramirez.
Soler's most notable attributes are his bat speed and his explosive power, but it doesn't stop there. The right-hander was clocked at 4.26 seconds running to first base.
For the Cubs, Jorge Soler is most likely getting their attention with his high energy and the potential he has to be a five-tool star.
After yet another lackluster season, Chicago needs high-energy youngsters like Soler. The spark he would bring would certainly boost the ballclub. Not to mention, Starlin Castro would probably benefit the most from Soler signing with the Cubs.
Another young star would mean competition for the shortstop, which could very well help Castro mature and motivate him to become the franchise player Chicago needs him to be.
If the Cubs were to sign Jorge Soler, he could be in pinstripes at Wrigley as early as 2013.
With the assumed departure of Marlon Byrd after this coming year, there would be a spot open for Soler.
A tandem of Brett Jackson and Jorge Soler in the outfield would be a dynamic one for the Cubs. We'll just ignore the fact that Alfonso Soriano will occupy left field until 2015.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have made it clear that they want to build a young foundation in Chicago.
Beating out the likes of the Evil Empire for Jorge Soler's services would be a damn good start to the process.
Steven Conklin is a contributing writer for the Bleacher Report and a student at the University of Central Missouri. He joined B/R in October 2011 and will be a B/R intern starting in January. Any comments, questions or suggestions are more than welcome.
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