January 11, 2007

Top 10 Prospects: 10. Alay Soler

I will be posting on the Mets top 10 prospects through the course of the the next couple of days, so look for them. Over at Baseball America, they take a look at the Mets top 10 prospects:

10.Alay Soler, rhp Born: Oct. 9, 1979; B-T: R-R; Ht: 6-1; Wt: 240
Signed: Cuba, 2004; Signed by: Rafael Bournigal

Background: After signing a $2.8 million major league contract in the fall of 2004, Soler missed all of 2005 because he couldn't secure a visa until October. He showed up to his first big league camp out of shape and had a poor spring training, though he bounced back to reach New York in May. He threw a two-hit shutout against the Diamondbacks, but struggled with his control shortly afterward and was demoted in early July.

Strengths: Soler has success when he attacks the strike zone with his low-90s fastball and above-average slider. The latter is his best pitch. He throws it at 80-81 mph with sharp, late break to righthanders and slows it down and backdoors it against lefties.

Weaknesses: Soler is his own worst enemy and gets in trouble when he tries to nibble and play around with his offspeed stuff in what looks like an attempt to emulate fellow Cuban Orlando Hernandez. He needs to dedicate himself much more to conditioning after making a bad first impression. After his midsummer demotion, he missed six weeks with a minor Achilles problem that isn't considered serious but wasn't helped by his excess weight.

The Future: If Soler plays to his strengths, he has the chance to be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter or setup man. How much time he spends getting in shape likely will dictate his assignment in 2007, when he could contribute in the majors.

No comments: