By Gian Franco Gil
Last March 19, news broke about the contract signed by Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, with the Miami Marlins. The agreement rose great expectation, for the slugger was awarded the World Series Most Valuable Player last year while playing for the Atlanta Braves.
Days before the start of the 2022 MLB season, with the certainty that he will be in the organization, it would be interesting to check some of the records that he could break for a Cuban within the club.
According to the publication of the Swing Completo stats Twitter account (@OfficialStatsSC), the single season homerun record for a Cuban with the Marlins is 20, and the RBI record is 87, both held by Orestes Destrade.
Destrade got those records in 1993, when he made his MLB debut–also, the Marlins’ inaugural season as an expansion team, known then as the Florida Marlins. That year, he stepped on the plate 569 times. Nineteen years later, he still is the Marlins single season record holder of homers and runs batted in among Cubans. His slash line was .255/.324/.406.
For “El Crudo”, those are not unknown numbers. In 2019, during his best MLB season, he hit 48 round-trippers and drove in 117 runs–first and only time with 100-plus RBI in nine seasons–with the Kansas City Royals.
So, 20 dingers don’t look hard at all for him. In 2021, after a slow start, he collected 27 in a power surge he experienced after joining the Atlanta Braves.
What looks more complicated is driving in over 87 runs. RBIs are an individual stat, but they depend on the amount of runners a hitter can find on base or in scoring position, their slot in the batting order and how often they play.