The Atlanta Braves win the 2021 World Series. For Kansas City Royals fans it was enjoyable to see so many former players and coaches contribute to the victory. The Braves endured injuries during the season that put in question this team even making the playoffs. They became resilient and would enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed. Facing adversity the Braves beat the Brewers and the Dodgers. In the World Series, they would square off against the Houston Astros. One former Royal made a significant impact on the World Series.
The Power Bat of Jorge Soler
On December 7th, 2016 the Chicago Cubs would trade outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for beloved relief pitcher Wade Davis.
According to baseball-reference, Soler played five seasons in a Kansas City Royals uniform. He would have 1366 at-bats in which he posted 322 hits. Of those hits, he had 80 doubles, 1 triple, and 80 home runs. In 2019 Soler would break the Kansas City Royals single-season home run record with 48 home runs. He was hitting home runs 7.1% of all plate appearances. His hard-hit rate was 53.1%. During his 5 years with the Royals, he would drive in 212 RBIs and draw 170 walks.
In 2021 Jorge Soler struggled at the plate for the Royals in which he would hit .192, striking out 97 times and only drawing 38 walks. His ISO was .179, his rOBA .296, and his BAbip .229. On July 30th the Kansas City Royals would trade Jorge Soler to the Atlanta Braves for minor league pitcher Kasey Kalich.
Soler would flip a switch and become a key contributor to the Braves making the playoffs. He would post a .269 batting average while hitting 14 home runs, 11 doubles, and driving in 33 RBIs. He struck out 45 times and added 29 walks. His ISO would jump to .255, his rOBA to .385, and BAbip .278. Soler’s 5.8% homerun percentage correlates with his 41.2% hard-hit rate of baseballs exiting over 95 mph. Another stat that stood out was his ability to hit all fields with 33.5% pull, 48.2% center, and 18.3% opposite field.
He would take it up another notch in the World Series. Soler would have 23 plate appearances posting 6 hits, 1 double, and 3 home runs. He would drive in 6 RBIs while walking 3 times. A batting average of .300, an OBP of .391, and an SLG .800.
Jorge Soler would win the World Series MVP award and will be entering 2022 as a free agent.
Former Royals That Contributed to the Braves in 2021
The addition of speedster Terrance Gore. Terrance Gore has collected 2 additional World Series rings since leaving the Kansas City Royals.
Coaches Kevin Seitzer, Sal Fasano, and Ron Washington. One noticeable coach is Ron Washington and his ability to work one-on-one with the infielders. Raising the glove play of third baseman Austin Riley along with second basemen Ozzie Albies helped the Braves defensively.
In the end, the playoffs were fantastic this year and the World Series was fun to watch. The Braves completed a huge feat. Now MLB will lay the 2021 season to rest as teams prepare for 2022.