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The Bernstein Brief: Jorge Soler Overshadowed By Kris Bryant Hoopla

By Dan Bernstein-- senior columnist

(CBS) He's a top Cubs prospect, a multi-talented athlete with an ideal physical frame, polished approach at the plate and natural, easy power in his swing. He draws raves from scouts, teammates and opponents and has a knack for attention-grabbing "wow" moments in games that portend stardom.

And he's not Kris Bryant.

While we were spending an inordinate amount of time in a tedious taffy pull debating the MLB service time obviousness for Bryant, it was easy to overlook another piece of the Cubs' positional core who actually played big league ball last year. Outfielder Jorge Soler had a .903 OPS in 97 plate appearances and showed off a right-field throwing arm that deserves mention among baseball's best, and he's right back at it this season.

Two homers for him Monday night sparked a Cubs win, and his night included a gun-down of the Reds' Zack Cozart at third from well down the line with a throw that manager Joe Maddon called "ridiculous." Soler's OPS so far is .972.

Bryant may well be worth all the anticipation and consternation, deserving the current scrutiny befitting such a phenom. But he has yet to see a single major league pitch.

Something else really good is happening right in front of us, and already.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Boers and Bernstein Show" in afternoon drive. Follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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