Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Soler meets Wrigley Field

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Jorge Soler had never been to a major league ball park before Saturday, which only added to his first visit to Wrigley Field carrying the mantel of future Cubs superstar.
``It felt good,'' he said through translator Louis Eljaua, a special assistant to general manager Jed Hoyer. ``At first I was a little intimidated because I was never in a big league park before, but then it felt comfortable.''
The 20-year-old Cuban native who chose the Cubs over other pursuing clubs took batting practice as a throng of observers watched, including team president Theo Epstein, Soler's agent Barry Praver, and Soler's father, Jorge Sr.
The younger Soler, projected as a multi-talented power hitting outfielder, signed a $30 million deal with the Cubs in June and played for the Mesa rookie team before being promoted to Class A Peoria. In 20 games at Peoria, he hit .338 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
He and top draft pick Albert Almora leave Sunday for the fall Instructional League in Arizona where they will be roommates again after rooming together in rookie ball.
``He helped me a lot in Arizona,'' Soler said of Almora, 18, a Miami native where Soler and his father are now living. They first met as rivals in the World Junior Championships in Canada when Soler played for Cuba and Almora for the U.S. team.
Soler said he is adjusting to life on and off the field in the states. He is as anxious as the Cubs brass tol make Wrigley Field a permanent home.
``As long as I keep making adjustments, time will tell when I'll get here.''

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on September 15, 2012 11:29 AM.

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