The Cubs expected big things out of Soler when they signed the Cuban defector to a nine-year big league contract worth $30 million in June 2012. He still shows considerable promise, but he has had a difficult time staying healthy, playing just 55 games in 2013 because of a stress fracture in his left tibia and missing most of this season with hamstring strains in both legs.
Soler missed five weeks with his latest hamstring problem before beginning a rehab stint in the Rookie-level Arizona League in late June. After a nearly two-month absence, he finally returned to the Double-A Tennessee lineup on July 6 and has made up for lost time by homering five times in seven games. He went deep twice on Sunday, when he drove in five runs in a 14-8 demoliton of Jacksonville.
Soler has appeared in only 21 games this year, but he is batting an impressive .414/.494/.843. He's still just 22 and has all the tools to profile well in right field, including massive power and a strong arm.
Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Kane County Cougars (Cubs' No. 11 prospect), 7 G, 12-for-24 (.500/.556/1.083), 1.639 OPS, 5 2B, 3 HR, 6 R, 9 RBI
Clint Frazier, OF, Lake County Captains (Indians' No. 2 prospect), 6 G, 14-for-26 (.538/.571/1.000), 1.571 OPS, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 R, 7 RBI
Steven Souza, OF, Syracuse Chiefs (Nationals' No. 14 prospect), 7 G, 15-for-30 (.500/.529/.833), 1.363 OPS, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 R, 8 RBI, 5 SB
Pipeline Pitching Prospect of the Week: Antonio Senzatela, RHP, Asheville Tourists (Rockies' No. 20 prospect), 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO
A sleeper prospect in the Rockies' system, Senzatela signed for $250,000 out of Venezuela in July 2011. He dominated the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League in his first two pro seasons before making his U.S. debut in 2013. Though he's just 19 years old, he hasn't fazed by his first taste of full-season ball this year, going 10-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 17 starts at low Class A Asheville.
Senzatela turned in his best performance of the season on Sunday, combining with Troy Neiman to beat Kannapolis 1-0 with a one-hitter. Senzatela worked the first seven innings, facing just 22 hitters (one over the minimum) and striking out a season-high nine.
Senzatela has a loose arm that delivers consistenty low-90s sinkers. He also has a curveball and a splitter that he uses as a changeup, and he has advanced command for his age.
Cody Anderson, RHP, Akron RubberDucks (Indians' No. 3 prospect), 2-0, 0.82, 2 GS 11 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
Tim Cooney, LHP, Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals' No. 9 prospect), 1-0, 1.13, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO
Anthony DeSclafani, RHP, New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins' No. 5 prospect), 1-0, 0.82, 2 G, 1 GS, 11 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO
Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers' No. 5 prospect), 1-0, 0.87 ERA, 2 GS, 10 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO
Austin Voth, RHP, Potomac Nationals (Nationals' No. 16 prospect), 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO