The San Francisco Giants have made another addition to their infield by signing Yangervis Solarte to a minor league deal, according to multiple reports.
As I have previously mentioned Yangervis Solarte is a great fit, it bears repeating; Solarte is the “poor man’s” Marwin Gonzalez. He has played all four infield positions and has even played some games in left field. In addition to being a versatile defensive player, he is a switch hitter as well, however his splits indicate that he does most of his damage as a left-handed hitter versus righties. This will suit the San Francisco Giants search for improvement, and versatility, at the cheapest price possible.
Solarte will look to break camp with the team and bounce back from a rough 2018 campaign. In a season where he posted career lows in most categories (Batting average, OBP, RBI, OPS+, DRC+, and wRC+) he posted his second highest career home run total with 17. Furthermore, Solarte actually improved his Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Percentage from career lows in 2017.
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Defensively Solarte is… not great. But there are worse defenders out there who are much more expensive that don’t offer the same offensive upside and versatility as Solarte.
The upside to Solarte is that he is a player who has posted an OPS+ and wRC+ over 100 in 3 of his 5 professional seasons, but he has also posted an OBP of .310 or better every season except 2018.
Unfortunately, the last two seasons show his metrics are trending down, but maybe the uptick in Exit Velocity and Hard Hit percentage he displayed in 2018 will translate to better numbers this season.
The Giants have added yet another versatile player who has shown an ability to get on base and slug above the league average.
If he can experience a bounce back type of season, he’d end up being an incredible value for pennies on the dollar. I hope all my Yangerv-heads are ready and hopeful he can play like the “rich man’s” Yangervis Solarte. It would be nice.
As a baseball writer there is no more satisfying feeling than hoping the Giants would sign someone, writing an article including that player, and then having the Giants actually sign that player. I feel like a genius.