CHICAGO -- Jorge Soler's professional career is about to begin.
Soler, the Cuban outfielder who signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs earlier this month, is scheduled to make his pro debut in an Arizona Rookie League game Thursday. Soler was expected to be the designated hitter for the Mesa Cubs.
Although Dale Sveum's focus remains on the players on the Major League roster, the Cubs manager admitted he's excited to start getting reports on the 20-year-old outfielder.
"He's just another guy you're going to want to see how he does and get the manager's report and see how his swings were and how he played the outfield, those kinds of things," Sveum said. "As well as [first-round pick Albert] Almora, but he's a little bit further away. But those guys are the guys you keep track of and see what you're doing."
Sveum has yet to see Soler play in person, but he did watch video of the outfielder during the winter and came away impressed, saying Soler possesses "a pretty impressive swing and strength and, obviously, body type that should play out in the big leagues."
Sveum said it's too early to put a timetable on Soler's development, but said the organization should have a better idea after the outfielder plays this fall.