Blue Jays: The Unexpected Power of Yangervis Solarte
When the Blue Jays traded for utilityman Yangervis Solarte in the offseason, they expected to gain versatility, consistency, and a little production. What they didn’t expect was for Solarte to lead the team in homers after the first month of the season.
Yes, it’s true, Yangervis Solarte is leading the Blue Jays in home runs. Not Justin Smoak, not Grandy, but Solarte. With seven dingers on the year, Solarte is three ahead of his teammates Aledmys Diaz, Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, and Smoak, all of whom have four. Even more impressive is that vast majority of his homers are moonshots. He constantly arcs bombs that just explode off his bat. Not to mention his bat drops, which are pretty sweet in themselves.
It’s awesome that Solarte has provided the Jays with so much power. It’s always an added bonus when one of your regulars contributes in a big way. With 15 RBI on the season, the dancing Venezuelan is second on the team, trailing only Smoak, who has 17 entering play on Tuesday, May 1st.
With a respectable slash line of .250/.348/.500, Solarte has consistently been putting the bat on the ball, striking out in only 16 of his 112 plate appearances, good enough for a 14% K rate, which Fangraphs considers “great”.
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Solarte is also tied for second on the team in walks, having been walked 14 times through his first 26 games. His BB% currently stands at 12.5%, which is also “great” according to the Fangraphs sabermetric library. His plate discipline has been good and though he’s struggled a bit with chasing balls in the dirt, he’s been able to lay off tough pitches that are just outside the zone.
With all the stats taken into account, Solarte has fared excellently in his first month as a Blue Jay. With a WAR of 0.6, Solarte has been a great addition to this club. Whether it’s dancing after a run scores, or smiling his way around the bases on a moonshot, his influence has been both felt and seen. If he keeps this up, he could be vital to this team’s success as they continue to chase the elusive second wild-card spot.
Next: Reviewing Every Blue Jays Reliever After the First Month