Monday, February 8, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Donovan Solano

The New York Yankees found themselves this winter pretty thin at the middle infield positions in Triple-A forcing Brian Cashman to look outside the organization for help. Despite already signing Pete Kozma to a minor league deal and Robert Refsnyder destined for second base in Scranton the Yankees were looking for depth up the middle after trading Brendan Ryan and Jose Pirela this winter. In an attempt to fill the depth chart back up the team made a minor league signing with an invite to spring training and offered it to former St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins product Donovan Solano. Today we meet him and officially welcome him to the New York Yankees family and organization. This is Meet a Prospect: The Donovan Solano Edition.

Donovan Solano Preciado was born on December 17, 1987 in Columbia along with his brother and fellow Major League player Jhonatan Solano. It was in Columbia that Donovan caught the eye of the St. Louis Cardinals leading the team to sign him as an international free agent in 2005. Solano spent the next seven seasons inside the Cardinals organization as a backup infielder before his eventual release from the only professional organization he’s ever known. The Miami Marlins came calling in 2012 and invited Solano to spring training camp as a non-roster invitee after signing him to a minor league deal and this is where Solano’s MLB career began.

In 2012 Solano made his MLB debut with the Marlins after losing out on the spring competition to Donnie Murphy. Solano began the season in Triple-A with the New Orleans Zephyrs before getting the call to the majors on May 20, 2012. Solano became just the 12th Columbian-born player to reach the Major Leagues and he singled in his first career at-bat. His brother Jhonatan, also with the Marlins, became the 13th Columbian-born player to make his MLB debut in that same magical 2012 season.

Some highlights from Solano’s 2012 campaign included a 2-4 night against the San Francisco Giants in his first career MLB start on May 26. This was also the season that Hanley Ramirez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July giving Solano, Murphy and Greg Dobbs ample playing time at third base for the fish. Solano finished his rookie campaign with a .295 average in 285 at-bats with a pair of home runs, 11 doubles, three triples, 28 RBI, 21 walks and seven stolen bases. Solano followed up his rookie campaign with three more average seasons with Miami before becoming a free agent this winter.

The Yankees scooped up Solano and will give him a shot to win the last bench spot for the team in 2016. If he doesn’t win the spot, and the odds are not forever in his favor here in my opinion, he will presumably begin the season in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. Either way he’s part of the Yankees organization and the Yankees family so Donovan, welcome! Enjoy your stay.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)