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The season that was: Yangervis Solarte

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A look at Solarte’s 2018 season

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Back on January 6 the Blue Jays traded a couple of minor leaguers to the Padres (outfielder Edward Olivares and pitcher Jared Carkuff) for Yangervis Solarte.

Solarte had hit.270/.326/.424 in 445 games over 3.5 seasons for the Padres. before that he was with the Yankees for half a season. Sorarte had played all the infield positions and 40 innings of left field in the majors.

The plan was for Solarte to be a backup infielder. After 2016, when we had Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins take 700+ PA, I was pretty happy with the deal. He looked to be a big upgrade.

When Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson didn’t make it to the start of the season healthy. it looked it was a good thing that we had Yangervis.

Maybe no so much:

Standard Batting
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ GDP
122 506 468 50 106 20 0 17 54 1 3 31 72 .226 .277 .378 .655 80 21
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/7/2018.

Baseball Reference had him at a -0.7 WAR. FanGraphs at -1.3, giving him a value of $-10.3 million to the Jays. I’m sure Rogers will send him an itemized bill.

He had a .284 wOBA and a 77 wRC+.

Compared to 2017, Yangervis walked less (6.1%, from 7.2) and struck out more (14.2%, from 11.9).

He hit more line drives (20.8%, from 16.4), slightly more ground balls (42.6%, from 41.6) and few fly balls (36.6%, from 42.1). More of his fly balls left the park (11.6%, from 10.5).

He had less hard contact (28.3%, from 31.1), but also less soft contact (21.0%, from 25.2).

He BABIP was .233, down from .255. Maybe he had some bad luck?

Solarte was slight better vs. LHP (.225/.273/.419) than RHP (.227/.279/.357).

He was much better at home (.246/.286/.449) than on the road (.207/.269/.306).

He hit about the same with RISP (.243/.281/.405) as he did the rest of the time.

He was far better in the first half (.241/.297/.422) than in the second half (.175/.204/.233).

Yangervis by month:

  • April: ..250/.348/.500 with 7 home runs in 26 games.
  • May: .264/.293/.445 with 4 home runs in 27 games.
  • June: ..252/.298/.421 with 4 home runs in 26 games.
  • July: .151/.184/.247 with 2 home runs in 24 games.
  • August: ..259/.333/.259 with no home runs in 8 games.
  • September: .143/.143/143 with no home runs in 11 games.

His season started so well. He hit almost half his home runs and almost half his walks in April.

Defensively?

Solarte played several positions.

He had 687.1 innings at third base. FanGraphs has him at a -13.0 UZR/150. He had 8 error (3 fielding, 5 throwing) for a .959 FA. That’s the second worst UZR/150 for AL third baseman with over 600 innings. The worst? Miguel Andujar of the Yankees with a -24.5.

He had 231 innings at second base. FanGraphs has him at a -8.0 UZR/150. He had 1 error at the position

He also played 42 innings at short and 9.1 innings at first base.

I was surprised at how bad his defense looked.

FanGraphs has Solarte at a -7.7 runs compared to the average base runner, the worst rating in the AL.

Solarte hit:

  • 1st: 1 game.
  • 2nd: 16 games.
  • 3rd: 34 games.
  • 4th: 37 games.
  • 5th: 22 games.
  • 6th: 4 games.
  • 7th: 2 games.

The Jays were 52-64 in games he started.

His longest hitting streak was 7th game. Longest on base streak was 13 games.

Favorite team to face? He hit 3 home runs in 3 games against the Nationals, hitting .385/.385/1.154. Against Cleveland he was .471/.526/.941 with 2 home runs in 4 games.

Least favorite? He hit just .094/.121/.125 against the Rays in 9 games.


Solarte had such a great start to the season, he was hitting homer and taking walks. He was fun to watch. He danced. I was really liking him. He seemed like a fun guy.

Then, from May 5th on he hit just .209/.247/.318.

And, not surprisingly, he stopped being fun.

When you don’t hit, are one of the worst fielders in the game, and rank as the worst base runner in baseball, I don’t think you expect your option to be picked up.

I’d imagine the team will try to trade him, but I don’t think anyone will bite, and then we’ll decline the option.

I thought he looked much better at second base than he did at third but we had better options in the middle of the infield.

I don’t know, maybe there was an injury that we didn’t know about, maybe there was other stuff going on. I’m sure he’ll be better in the future, but I don’t want it to be with Jays.


He did make some spectacular looking defensive plays. Guys with little range can make plays looks spectacular.