Atlanta Braves: Why Jorge Soler Could Be A Great Acquisition

Soler was a solid pickup for the Atlanta Braves (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
Soler was a solid pickup for the Atlanta Braves (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

There is reason to be excited for new Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler

At first, it could be argued that the Atlanta Braves acquisition of Jorge Soler was one of the more puzzling moves at the trade deadline, not only for the Braves, but across the league. Especially since Soler is clearly a DH, now playing on a team in the National League.

Soler is by far having his worst year to date. He already has a -1.2 Wins Above Replacement, and a horrendous slashline of .192/.288/.370, and a 79 OPS+ (21% below league average).

His defense is very bad as well. In 345 innings in the outfield this season, he has a terrible -8 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and a Defensive WAR (dWAR) of -1.3.

Why did the Atlanta Braves acquire him then?

First, it is clear the front office was tired of the terrible bench combination of Abraham Almonte, Orlando Arcia, Ehire Adrianza, and Pablo Sandoval. Although Soler is having a down year, his potential is higher than all four of those players having a 4.2 offensive WAR (oWAR) season as recently as 2019.

Second, the bench was already terrible at defense, so it is not like adding Soler would be a huge drop-off defensively in the outfield. Almonte has a -8 DRS in less innings than Soler (314.2), Adrianza has -2 DRS in 153.2 innings, and Sandoval had been a defensive liability since 2012.

Offensively it could be argued that even with Soler’s down year, he would not be a drop-off. Sandoval was 1 for his last 32 with an OPS+ of 68, Adrianza has an OPS+ of 99, Arcia has an OPS+ of 39, and Almonte has an OPS+ of 101.

New Atlanta Braves outfielder Jorge Soler has had an insane July

If we look at Jorge Soler’s stats since the start of July, it is clear that the front office is gambling on his past success (prior to 2021), but also his most recent success as well.

His overall stats for the year are bad, there is no denying it. However, he has been one of the hottest bats in the league as of late. Since July 3rd, he has 7 home runs, 8 walks to 15 strikeouts, and a very good slash line of .228/.318./621 which equates to .939 OPS. You read that right, a .621 slugging percentage. On top of that, all the while having extremely bad luck along the way with a .167 batting average on balls in play (BABIP).

If we look at his stats since July 16th, it is even more insane. Six home runs, 7 walks to only 9 strikeouts, and a slash line of .231/.348/.718 and a 1.066 OPS (176 OPS+) with even worse luck with a BABIP of .125.

It should also be noted that even including his entire year, terrible first few months included, he has absolutely mashed left-handers with a 126 OPS+ against them.

These offensive numbers since July 16th would garner MVP votes over an entire season, and based on his BABIP, he will be hitting even better once his bad luck turns around.

When a trade is made, it is not to get the stats a player has produced in the past, but what value you will get in the future. If the Atlanta Braves get even a fraction of what Soler has done since the start of July, they just got a massive upgrade.

This move not only gives the Atlanta Braves more options in the outfield, but it also pushes a weak link off the bench, strengthening an obvious hole in the roster.

Grading the Atlanta Braves Wild Trade Deadline Moves. dark. Next

This acquisition may not be the blockbuster deal that some fans were hoping for. But with only giving up a future relief pitcher still in High-A at 23 years old in Kasey Kalich, this trade has the potential to be a huge boon for the Atlanta Braves!