Jorge Soler homers in debut for the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Sun-Times

Any professional athlete will tell you there are some nerves to battle through during the first professional game of your life. There isn't an athlete alive that hasn't played the first pitch, game, set, or match out perfectly in his head already before the start.

For Chicago Cubs prospect, Jorge Soler, in his first at-bat, he hit his first career home run to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in a 7-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. Making things even better for Soler was his father Jorge Soler Sr. was in the stands to see it. The shot was estimated to have traveled 423 feet.

Soler became the first Cubs player since Starlin Castro on May 7, 2010 to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat. Castro's shot also happened in Cincinnati.

The 22-year-old from Havana, Cuba finished the game batting 2-for-4 with a run, two RBI's and one strikeout.

"The first at-bat was real tense," Soler told reporters through Cubs assistant coach Franklin Font. "But when I hit a home run, I was shocked about it."

The Cubs are fifth in the NL Central, but has a crop of young talent that won't command top salaries of several seasons.

In a piece on ESPNChicago, Cubs President Theo Epstein expressed his confidence in the plan to add the necessary players in the future with payroll to move forward with his plan on building a winner.

"I think because we have so many young players that are going to be cost-controlled over the next several seasons, we have tremendous flexibility built into our roster as it is," Epstein said. "We'll be able to field a pretty good nucleus with a very low payroll associated with that.

"That in of itself -- and some of the savings that we made over the last offseason, for example -- will allow us the flexibility to be very aggressive if the right player or players present themselves to us."