Jorge Soler named World Series MVP after 3 home runs in Atlanta Braves’ 6-game win
HOUSTON – World Series MVP Jorge Soler’s season journey didn’t start with the Atlanta Braves. But it ended with the New Champions, merging the stories of a player and a team who followed a very similar trajectory.
Soler emerged as the clear MVP of the Braves’ six-game win over the Houston Astros with a thunderous three-run third inning against starter Luis Garcia, giving the Braves an early lead that they widened the rest of the way. .
Before Soler’s explosion, Game 6 had taken on the hue of a possible budding pitching duel, with Garcia and Atlanta left-hander Max Fried putting zeros at the start. But with a lethal bat from Soler, Garcia’s night was over and Atlanta was on its way to their first title since 1995.
Soler and Garcia fought for eight pitches, Soler hooking two foul balls in the seats before connecting with a Garcia cutter that left the bat at 109.6 mph, according to Statcast. The balloon exploded over the Crawford Boxes in left field, past the light pole, through the line of sight of the Minute Maid Park train conductor and into the street.
At that moment, Soler knew he had made a circuit, as he dropped his bat and turned to his canoe, slapping his chest and screaming as several of his teammates jumped over the canoe rail. and jumped onto the warning trail in celebration.
Soler hit .300 against the Astros with three home runs, six RBIs and three walks in the series. He is the sixth player with three home runs in a single World Series and posted a .800 slugging percentage.
The championship is the second in Soler’s career. He was a member of the drought-stricken Chicago Cubs in 2016, winning two hits in this season’s thrilling fall classic.
That World Series moment would have seemed unlikely for the Braves and Soler on July 30, when Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopolous made a deal with the Kansas City Royals to acquire Soler, who became the team’s third MVP. World Series to be played for a different team in the same season. At the time of the trade, the Braves were 51-53, third in the NL East, and had not gone over 0.500 all season.
Meanwhile, Soler left the Royals in fourth place as the club’s one-season home run record holder (48), a mark that has been tied this season by Salvador Perez. But that record was set in 2019. In 2021, Soler struggled through the first few months of the season, hitting just .192 with 13 homers in 94 games before the trade.
However, his performance up to the deadline was revealing: Soler has hit six home runs and in his last nine games for Kansas City.
Soler fits perfectly into a desperate Braves team looking for help in an outfield decimated by injuries, off-court problems and underperformance. At the end of the season, Soler was out in front for Atlanta, and as unconventional as the imposing Soler may seem in the role, the Braves have won 10 of the last 11 games with him first. Soler hit .269 with 14 homers in 55 games after joining the Braves.
In the NLDS round against Milwaukee, Soler’s playoffs derailed when he was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. He missed the last game of the series against the Brewers and the first four of Atlanta’s six-game win against the Dodgers. He returned for the last two games of this round as a pinch hitter, getting 1 for 2.
Soler made up for lost time in some with his World Series exploits. In doing so, he became the third player to win World Series MVP honors after starting the season with another team, joining Donn Clendenon of the Mets in 1969 and Steve Pearce of the Red Sox in 2018.
Soler also became the second Cuban-born player to win the award, joining pitcher Livan Hernandez, who was MVP of the 1997 World Series with the Marlins.
Not bad for a player who left the All-Star break with a struggling team and is struggling to find his way at home plate. For the Braves and their fans, Soler and his bat arrived just in time.