Perhaps a familiar name to San Francisco Giants fans, Solarte spent 2015-2017 as a member of the San Diego Padres before being shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays last winter.
He proceeded to have a pretty terrible season for Toronto, hitting just 226/.277/.378 over 122 games leading to below replacement-level production.
After the Blue Jays sensibly decided to decline his club option, the Giants picked him up last month on a minor league deal that will pay him just $1.75MM if he makes the roster.
The 31-year old has been a utility infielder throughout his career, and should fill that same role for the Giants. Although his defense isn’t particularly good, he can fake it out there and also provides decent power, having hit at least 15 homers in each of the past three seasons.
Solarte’s right-handed bat will be a useful complement given the Giants will have lefties taking up the majority of at bats at first base, second base, and shortstop.
There are reasons to hope that he’ll improve this year as well. For one, he posted a career high 19.2% infield fly rate last year, which is honestly absurdly high. While it has trended up throughout his career, hopefully he can bring it back to his career rate of around 14%.
Hitting that many pop ups will ravage a batting average, but his hard hit rates have still suspiciously stayed close to his career numbers. He also saw fewer fastballs than he had at any other point in his career, so a few tweaks with Hitting Coach Alonzo Powell can prepare him better for the off-speed stuff.