HOUSTON -- Jorge Soler, the World Series MVP, did not start with the Atlanta Braves. It did finish with the new champs, combining the stories of a player as well as a team that had a very similar path.
Soler was the clear-cut MVP in the Braves' six game victory over the Houston Astros. Soler scored a thundering three-run homer in the third inning off starter Luis Garcia. This gave the Braves an early lead they would not relinquish.
Game 6 was a game that had already looked like a budding pitchers' duel. Atlanta's lefty Max Fried and Garcia were both putting up early zeros. With one swing of Soler’s deadly bat, Garcia was gone and Atlanta was on its path to its first title in 1995.
Soler and Garcia fought for eight pitches. Soler hit two foul balls into seats, before connecting with a Garcia cutter, which left the bat at 109.6 mph, according to Statcast. The ball flew over the Crawford Boxes, past the light stanchion and onto the street.
Soler realized that he had homered in the instant he dropped his bat. He pounded his chest and shouted as his teammates leapt over the dugout rail to celebrate.
Soler was a.300 hitter against the Astros. He had three homers and six RBIs as well as three walks. He is the sixth player to have three go-ahead homers during a World Series. His slugging percentage was.800.
Soler won the championship for the second time in his career. Soler was part of the 2016 drought-snapping Chicago Cubs and scored two hits during that thrilling Fall Classic.
Soler and the Braves would have thought this unlikely, but on July 30, Atlanta GM Alex Anthopolous made a deal to acquire Soler. Soler became the third World Series MVP to be selected by a different team during the same season. The Braves were at 51-53, third in the NL East and hadn't been above.500 since the start of the season.
Soler, who was fourth in the Royals' standings for homers with 48, became the club's single season record holder. Salvador Perez tied that mark this season. However, that record was established in 2019. Soler was a terrible player in 2021. He hit just.192 and had 13 homers in just 94 games prior to the trade.
His performance up until the deadline was telling. Soler hit six homers in his first nine games for Kansas City.
Soler was a perfect fit for a Braves team that needed help to fill an outfield depleted by injuries, off-the field problems and poor performance. Soler was Atlanta's batting leader by the end of the season. As unorthodox as Soler may seem in that role down the stretch, the Braves won ten of eleven games with Soler batting first. After joining the Braves, Soler hit.269 and had 14 homers in 55 games.
Soler was injured in the NLDS against Milwaukee. This caused Soler's postseason to be stalled. He was unable to attend the final game against Milwaukee and four of Atlanta's six-game NLCS victory against the Dodgers. He was a pinch-hitter for the last two games of that round, going 1-for-2.
Soler's World Series heroics made up for any time Soler lost. Soler became the third player to be awarded World Series MVP after starting the season with a different team. He was joined by the Mets' Donn CLendenon in 1969, and the Red Sox's Steve Pearce (2018).
Soler was also the second Cuban-born pitcher to win the award. He joins pitcher Livan Hernandez who was the MVP of the 1997 World Series for the Marlins.
This is a great performance for a player who was left out of the All-Star break while struggling to find his way at plate. Soler and his bat were just in time for the Braves, and their fans.