Where Has Yangervis Solarte Been These Last Few Years?
The New York Yankees are known for spending big bucks on baseball’s best players in order to win championships, but with age, injuries, and inconsistency, they must find their answers deep inside the farm system. One of those lucky players is Yangervis Solarte, who hadn’t swung a bat in the majors until this season. He has played eight seasons at the minor league level for the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers. Yangervis wasn’t the first infield choice to start the year. Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson were added during the off-season to produce depth on the dirt, but they haven’t quite performed to the level expected of them. This opened the door for Yangervis to strut his stuff in pinstripes.
Yangervis was signed out of Venezuela by the Twins as an amateur free agent in 2005. He played in the Twins’ farm system for six seasons, making it as far as Double-A New Britain. It wasn’t until 2011 when Solarte started figuring things out. By the end of that said season, he was an EAS Mid-season and Post-season All Star. Also, MLB.com named him an Organization All Star for 2011. It was well deserved as he hit for a .329 AVG, 7 HRs, and 49 RBIs in 459 ABs.
Surprisingly, Solarte was granted free agency following the 2011 season. That off season, he signed with the Rangers and became a Triple-A starter for Round Rock. Yangervis, in his two seasons with RR, hit 23 HRs, 129 RBIs, and averaged .282, earning him another Organizational All Star nomination for 2012. However, fate kept up with Solarte, as he was yet again granted free agency after 2013.
On January 14, 2014, Yangervis Solarte signed a 1 year contract worth $500k with the Yankees. The Yanks saw potential in Yangervis, having seen so many positive scouting reports from different teams, but they weren’t prepared for production this early into his contract.
Through 52 games, Yangervis is hitting .299 with 18 extra base hits, 6 of which are homers. His 26 RBIs have supported a somewhat unstable Yankees offense. Also, Yangervis has played at least 5 games at 3B, 2B, and SS. His fielding versatility has allowed for other Yankees, such as Dean Anna and, recently, Scott Sizemore, to get their fair share of ABs for the Bronx Bombers. Many scouts are confident that Yangervis is the real deal. Jay Darnell, a Yankee scout, had Yangervis near the top of his list for infield free agents. Don Wakamatsu, the now Royals bench coach, also had positive things to say about the 28 year old. It isn’t a bad time for Solarte to show up either, since there are no quality infield prospects currently playing in the Yankees’ system. Once Derek Jeter ends his career this year and Alex Rodriguez finally calls it quits, it will be Solarte’s chance to shine in the Bronx. Only time will tell if Solarte can continue to produce for the Yanks, but if he does, the Yankees payroll will not complain.