Jorge Soler, 20, has no family in the U.S., having defected from his native Cuba last year to pursue a dream to play baseball in the majors. Giving special consideration to his personal circumstance is important, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said.
``I think we have to do a really good job of focusing on assimilation,'' Hoyer said. ``For any player coming from Cuba, this is a lot different and we have to understand that and take it slowly with him. Professional baseball is hard for any player, let alone someone coming from a completely different culture, and we have to understand that.''
The Cubs have Cuban Americans on staff, including vice president of player development Oneri Fleita and international scouting coordinator Alex Suarez. ``And we have cuban players, and I think it will help, but even still, it's a different world for [Soler.]''
Soler will start in right field, but Hoyer said he could play another position eventually.
``He's a huge, huge person [6-3, 205] and has huge power, and it's hard to find power in today's game. That's a big part of why we're willing to make that kind of commitment. He's just a huge guy with bat speed and has always generated a lot of power.''