Solomon Bates was not a pitching prospect you often heard about in the SF Giants farm system. However, that will soon change as the 25-year-old pitcher announced on his Instagram page that he is gay.
SF Giants pitching prospect makes brave and courageous announcement
Cyd Zeigler of Outsports followed up with Bates to discuss his journey as one of the few openly gay athletes in professional sports. The pitching prospect hopes to be an inspiration to future players to be comfortable in their own skin:
"" I want people to see my stats and let people know that gay men can play baseball... I’m still going to open up doors for gay athletes like me. Gay men can play a manly sport if you give us a chance to. Thank you giants, you guys made a new fan. But gave me a chip to keep going. I love all the new friends that I’ve made. I’m not going to cry. I’m going to keep pushing.""- Solomon Bates G
The Giants originally drafted Bates in the eighth round of the 2018 draft out of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles California. He posted a 3.57 ERA with 8.7 K/9 in three seasons in college while splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen.
The righty pitched primarily out of the bullpen as a pro. In four minor league seasons, he recorded a 4.68 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, and a 3.08 SO/W ratio. He reached Double-A in 2022 where he tallied a 4.02 ERA with 47 strikeouts against 21 walks in 40.1 frames with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Bates flashes a fastball that sits comfortably in the low-90's with the ability to touch 95-96 MPH that he pairs with a quality curve ball.
Bates likely acquired a bunch of new fans with Tuesday's announcement. Many Giants fans have followed his career since he was drafted in 2018 and they will continue to cheer him on from afar.
Unfortunately, the right-handed hurler was released by the Giants earlier in the week. Bates remains determined to continue his professional career.
Around the Foghorn supports Bates for the courage and bravery that it took to reveal a personal detail like this to the world. Hopefully, his announcement encourages others to make a similar statement and the hope is that Bates continues his professional career.