I feel like all of Miami is fixated on one particular guy carrying the whole team on his back right now, but in the interim between Heat games, they at least have Jorge Soler to watch. The Marlins can do whatever they want and then Soler can hit a home run and they'll be alright.
Jorge Soler is one of those players that will hit for power when he wants to, but when he does he's incredible. He hit 48 homers in 2019, and has hit 17 homers so far this year, but so many other years have been plagued with either injuries, inefficiency or, well, shortened playing time. I find it funny that the power abilities he found in Kansas City and Miami weren't too present in Chicago, which was the better team arrangement, but he did figure himself out. It is a bit worrying to see that his biggest achievement came at his age-27 season, as is the standard it seems, and he hasn't really touched his 2019 numbers since, despite an excellent year in 2021 split between KC and Atlanta.
Soler's home run hitting this year has heightened as May has gone on, with that five-game home run streak during series' against the Rockies and Angels, and a pair of two-homer games on the season already. Even with a reigning Cy Young winner, a .300-hitting Luis Arraez performance and one of the most surprisingly great bullpens in the league, Soler is still the main event for this team, and he's a decent power piece for a team that doesn't have a ton of pure power hitters otherwise right now. Bryan de la Cruz has 7 homers, but he's more known right now for hitting .295 and leading the non-Arraez Marlins in hits.
I like that the Marlins have moved on from simply being a stupid power team, as they were in the last couple years, and are now a bit more contact friendly, and a ton more pitching-centric. Alcantara may be leveling out a bit, but Jesus Luzardo, Eury Perez, Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera are all doing relatively well, and they still have Trevor Rogers, Johnny Cueto and, I assume at this point, Sixto Sanchez working on returning from the IL. As discussed, there's also a strong bullpen, and Tanner Scott, J.T. Chargois, Huascar Brazoban and Andrew Nardi are an excellent unit. You're seeing more intriguing pieces worm their way to the forefront and make this an intricate, varied third place team.
I don't know if the Marlins are gonna be anything this year, and I think they're more a middle-of-the-pack team than anything, but people like Soler, Arraez and de la Cruz are making this team worthy of more than their usual indifference.
Coming Tomorrow- The Dodgers couldn't find room. The Cubs couldn't find room. The Tigers...somehow had room for a contact-hitting second baseman.