Forceful impact of Soler in Bravos

ATLANTA – As part of the quartet of outfielders that came to the Braves in late July via trades, Jorge Soler is on the verge of a victory to win a second championship ring, after being part of the Cubs that conquered the World Series of the 2016.

However, the role of the Cuban in the 2021 Braves is much more relevant. And more unexpected.

When Soler was traded from Kansas City to Atlanta, the former American League home run champion (48 in 2019) was hitting .192 / .288 / .370 (.658 OPS) with a 76 OPS +. That’s 24 points per below MLB average. But coming to a Braves team in the heat of the fight, the Havana native rebounded with .269 / .358 / .524 (.882 OPS) and 128 OPS + —28 points above average — in 55 games with Atlanta. in the regular season.

Now, following his decisive home run shot on Saturday in Game 4 of the World Series against the Astros that put the Braves within a crown win, Soler has become a crucial figure for a club one step away from glory. .

“At the beginning it was a bit difficult when they changed me, because I did not know the team,” said Soler. “But after a week, it felt like it was my home.”

And how do you explain the 180 degree turn in his 2021 after the Royals trade to the Braves?

“I was happier, more animated,” replied the slugger. “We were behind the playoffs and I think that was it.”

Whatever it is, Soler’s successes have resumed in the World Series, after a battle with COVID-19 that cost him much of the second round of the playoffs against the Dodgers. First, Soler became the first player in history to start a Fall Classic with a home run in Game 1. And now, with his crucial homer in Game 5 on Saturday, he is the only hitter in history with a home run that much. as a leadoff hitter in the World Series.

“It was a great turn and difficult to do off the bench,” Dansby Swanson said of Soler’s drive on Saturday, which followed the Atlanta shortstop’s own solo homer. “He’s given us tremendous shifts since he came from Kansas City.”

In his short time in Atlanta, Soler has also become a local fan favorite.

“The public, the fans have supported us 100%,” said Soler, who is trying to help the Braves win their first crown since 1995. “It’s great to feel this noise and that they are supporting us.”

And despite having a new group that includes figures like Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson and Soler himself, the Braves are more engaged than ever as a group.

“The Atlanta team has been playing together all the time,” said Soler. “There is very good chemistry with all the boys. We are focused on winning games and going out to have fun.

“Never in my life have I had more fun playing than here.”


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Forceful impact of Soler in Bravos