World Series MVP: Braves' Jorge Soler becomes second Cuban-born player to win the award
Braves outfielder Jorge Soler was named 2021 World Series MVP on Tuesday night after he helped Atlanta capture its first World Series title in 26 years. In Game 6 against the Astros, Soler had the most memorable hit of the series, demolishing a three-run home run to put the Braves ahead for good in the title-clinching game.
It was the exclamation point on a memorable series for Soler, who came into Game 6 against the Astros with a robust slash line of .294/.368/.706 through the first five games. Then in the third inning Tuesday night, he came up with two on and two out against Luis Garcia, who, pitching on short rest, suddenly looked vulnerable after dominating in the first two innings.
Just prior to the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Soler had scalded back-to-back foul balls, and it was obvious he had Garcia timed up pretty well. On that eighth pitch, Garcia threw something in between a slider and a cutter down and in, but the pitch lingered in the zone a bit too long. Soler, suffice it to say, did not miss:
That one left the bat at 109.6 mph and traveled an estimated 446 feet. That moonshot merits another angle:
That was Soler's third homer of the series, and he became just the fourth Brave ever to hit three home runs in a single World Series. Soler joins Hank Aaron in 1957, Lonnie Smith in 1991, and Ryan Klesko in 1995. More impressively, Soler had three go-ahead homers in this series, and that put him in exclusive company:
Soler, the second Cuban-born MVP in World Series history (joining Liván Hernández of the 1997 Marlins), originally joined the Braves at the trade deadline. In 55 games with Atlanta, he hit .269/.358/.524 (128 OPS+) with 14 home runs. He'd previously hit .192/.288/.370 (76 OPS+) with 13 home runs in 94 contests with the Royals. Soler, scheduled to become a free agent this winter, was one of several notable additions Atlanta made to its outfield at the deadline, alongside Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Adam Duvall.
(Photo: Jorge Soler/MLB)