The Cubs 2014 rookie parade continued with a bang on Wednesday, when 22 year-old Cuban phenom Jorge Soler hit a solo home run in his first major league at-bat.
In the top of the second, Soler yanked a 2-1 pitch from Reds starter Mat Latos that easily left the yard in center. Then, with two men on in the eighth, Soler knocked an RBI single off Jonathan Broxton. The rookie finished the night 2-4, driving in two runs and joining the Cubs' recently-founded "Homer in your big-league debut!" club.
Soler is only a preview of Cubs' hopes
In the steady hands of Theo Epstein, the Cubs have assembled a preposterous amount of batting talent. All-Star Anthony Rizzo (signed through 2019, with a team option through 2021), a Windy City veteran at this point, is second in the NL in home runs.
Starlin Castro, still just 24 and signed through 2020, is enjoying a rebound season. Mike Olt, a former supplemental first round pick with frightening power (and strikeout-ability), has stuck with the big league club (and will be around until 2020).
Recent call-up Javier Baez (signed through 2020), the most hyped Cubs prospect to hit the bigs this season, hit a game-winning bomb at Coors Field earlier this month. Arismendy Alcantara, though not a member of the first-game home run club, has impressed during his inaugural season in Wrigleyville (Alcantara is also signed through 2020).
Cubs fans can hope for a welcome-to-the-big-leagues bomb from Kris Bryant, who could very well make his first appearance with the big club in September. And Addison Russell, the centerpiece of that midsummer deal for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, should arrive with pomp on Chicago's north side sometime next season.
Jorge Soler is signed through 2021
Soler, the young outfielder from Cuba, inked a 9-year, $30-million deal in 2012. With his Yasiel Puig-ish build and athleticism, Soler figures to be a power threat in the middle of the Cubs order for years to come.
2014 is a lost cause for Cub-land, but the future is exceedingly bright.