AL HR king Soler sets Cuban-born player record

Slugger launches big fly No. 48 in Royals' walk-off win

September 29th, 2019

KANSAS CITY – , the Royals' first American League home run champion, set a record for big flies by a Cuban-born player by slugging his 48th long ball in the first inning of Kansas City's 5-4 walk-off win over the Twins on Sunday afternoon.

Soler blasted a 3-2 changeup from Martín Pérez into the left-field bullpen at Kauffman Stadium to break a tie with Rafael Palmeiro, who hit 47 homers in 1999 and 2001 for the Rangers.

Soler beat out Minnesota’s Nelson Cruz and Houston’s Alex Bregman, who each had 41, while the injured Mike Trout finished his season with 45.

Statcast estimated that Soler’s blast left the bat at 100 mph and traveled 398 feet.

"It means a lot for me, my family,” Soler said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. “The organization has never had a home run champ. So, it means a heck of a lot."

Soler was especially proud of passing his countryman, Palmeiro.

"I feel extremely appreciative for the opportunity,” Soler said. “It means a lot to me, my family. Also, it's an understanding that you can do anything you want to do in life."