Just hours after the Marlins dropped the final game of the three-game set to the Atlanta Braves, the 2023 MLB All-Star reserves were announced, including Jorge Soler. Slashing .241/.339/.514/.853 with 22 home runs and 47 RBIs, Soler earns his first career All-Star selection and will join teammate Luis Arráez in Seattle for the event.
During his second season in Miami, Soler has improved in every statistical category. Most notably, he has stayed healthy, playing in 81 of the first 85 Marlins games. The 31-year-old has also cut down his strikeout percentage substantially while walking at a career-best rate (11.8 BB%). Despite playing home games at a pitcher-friendly park, Soler is on pace to hit 42 home runs this season after going deep only 13 times in 2022.
Soler has also been one of the most clutch hitters in baseball this season, which was probably a big reason why he was voted in by his fellow MLB players. Entering Sunday, Soler is slashing .316/.409/.772/1.181 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs in what Baseball-Reference considers high-leverage situations. If it wasn’t for Soler, the Marlins wouldn’t be where they are at this current point in the season.
Historically, the Marlins have struggled to get quality production from their free agent acquisitions. Craig Mish of SportsGrid points out that Soler is the only Marlins FA pick-up in my lifetime to become an All-Star for the team:
With the full rosters announced, Soler is joined by eight other Cuban All-Stars, breaking a record which was set in 1968. This is a proud day for the country to be so heavily represented.
The big question remaining is whether Soler will put his name down to participate in the Home Run Derby. The confirmed participants are Pete Alonso, Randy Arozarena, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Julio Rodriguez and Mookie Betts, so the competition is going to be fierce.
Photo by Danis Sosa/Fish On First