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Giants: Was Donovan Solano baseball’s best utility infielder in 2019?

DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 04: Donovan Solano #7 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 04, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 04: Donovan Solano #7 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 04, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – SEPTEMBER 08: Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins hits a single in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians during the game at Target Field on September 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 5-2. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – SEPTEMBER 08: Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins hits a single in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians during the game at Target Field on September 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 5-2. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

An interesting case for Solano being the game’s best utility player stems from a position-by-position breakdown of where each of those 12 players lined up defensively.

  • David Bote, CHC—2B (50), SS (9), 3B (67), OF (1)
  • Luis Arraez, MIN—2B (49), SS (8), 3B (17), OF (21)
  • Chad Pinder, OAK—1B (2), 2B (21), SS (3), 3B (17), OF (77)
  • Donovan Solano, SF—2B (36), SS (19), 3B (2)
  • Brad Miller, CLE/PHI—2B (13), SS (1), 3B (19), OF (17)
  • Greg Garcia, SD—1B (1), 2B (74), SS (9), 3B (13), OF (1)
  • Aledmys Diaz, HOU—1B (26), 2B (25), SS (5), 3B (19), OF (4)
  • Mike Freeman, CLE—2B (33), SS (9), 3B (18), OF (6)
  • Myles Straw, HOU—2B (4), SS (26), OF (18)
  • Ehire Adrianza, MIN—1B (20), 2B (7), SS (24), 3B (24), OF (7)
  • Brock Holt, BOS—1B (11), 2B (60), SS (6), 3B (4), OF (9)
  • Luis Urias, SD—2B (26), SS (41), 3B (1)

Solano is the only player on that list who played at least 10 games at both the second base and shortstop positions, aside from Luis Urias who was actually more of an everyday player after spending a significant chunk of the season in the minors.

In the end, David Bote (356 PA, 103 OPS+, .257/.362/.422, 28 XBH) and Luis Arraez (366 PA, 123 OPS+, .334/.399/.439, 25 XBH) both have a strong case for being baseball’s top utility player in 2019, but Solano belongs squarely in the conversation.

Next. ATF's Final Top 10 Prospects

One thing is for sure, the San Francisco Giants truly found a diamond in the rough when they signed Donovan Solano as a minor league free agent last winter.

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