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Fantasy Baseball Today

Yup, you want Jorge Soler

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Jorge Soler has put up sick numbers in the minors this year. (USATSI)
Jorge Soler has put up sick numbers in the minors this year. (USATSI)

Who's ready to play the lottery again?

Maybe you're thinking about sitting this one out, disillusioned by the way Jon Singleton's, Oscar Taveras' and Gregory Polanco's rookie seasons have gone (though I'd argue Polanco's has actually been pretty good -- he's averaged more Head-to-Head points per game than Khris Davis). But that's the way the lottery works. You pay a marginal sum for just the chance of winning an exponentially greater sum. In the case of the Powerball, it's a microscopic chance. In the case of the latest big-name callup, it's ... well, I can't put an exact percentage on it, but something significantly more than that.

And for one like Jorge Soler, it's even higher. He already has experience against upper-level competition from his time in Cuba, and for all the outrage over Kris Bryant and the commonly held belief the Cubs are holding him back for financial reasons (since those aren't important or anything), Soler has been just as good between the same two stops this year. He doesn't have as many at-bats thanks to an early season hamstring injury, but he has actually outclassed Bryant in both batting average (.340 to .330) and, yup, slugging percentage (.700 to .677). Byrant has performed marginally better at Triple-A Iowa specifically, but Soler has still hit eight home runs in 110 at-bats there to give him 15 in 200 at-bats on the year.

In other words, he also belongs in the conversation for the best prospect in baseball. And while he may ultimately grade out a little behind Bryant, I have little doubt he's the more polished of the two. If his experience in Cuba doesn't suggest it, his strikeout rate relative to Bryant's does. The latter is already up to 154 on the year.

Imagine if Bryant was coming up instead of Soler. What would your response be? I imagine you'd trip over yourself to pick him up no matter what had happened with Singleton, Taveras or Polanco. To me, passing up Soler because he's not Bryant would have been like passing up Yasiel Puig because he wasn't Wil Myers last June. Granted, those who grabbed Myers later were pretty satisfied with what they got, but he didn't end up being the game-changer Puig was.

Which is why you keep playing the lottery. You don't know which ticket will be a winner. The one time you sit it out, the jackpot goes to someone else. And especially this time of year, you don't want the jackpot going to anyone but you.

The marginal sum you'll pay for Soler -- what, a few FAAB bucks and a Dexter Fowler-type stash? -- is worth it if only as a defensive move.

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