A mini-slump has
Solarte, who will be replaced at that position by Kelly Johnson, is hitless in his last 14 at-bats. But he still owns a .303 average and .387 on-base percentage.
Solarte took Tampa Bay closer Grant Balfour deep for a solo home run in the ninth inning. He added a double and a single, falling a triple shy of a cycle. He finished 3 for 5 with one run scored and two RBI in a 10-2 victory. He is batting .373 (19 for 51) with nine RBI through 15 games.
There's no denying
"He's hitting everything," Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long told NJ.com. "Right now, when you find a guy who's in this kind of zone, you're not going to find many holes. He's hitting everything. Fastballs up. Fastballs down. Fastballs away.
"He's doing damage. He's recognizing pitches. There just seems to be no deficiencies right- or left-handed."
Long added he's been particularly impressed with Solarte's patience at the plate and his ability to mostly swing at strikes.
"This has been going on since Feb. 23," Long said. "This has been a long period of time that he's swung the bat well. Just now it's the consistency that he brings day in and day out."
It's been a fun ride for
I say that not to hype any of those four but to emphasize how little we can gather from one week of data. Of those four, only Longoria is projected to be a significant Fantasy contributor. We know exactly who McGehee and Plouffe are, and though their potential for 15-plus homers with regular playing time gives them some NL- and AL-only appeal, it won't keep them from tumbling down the rankings in the weeks ahead.
In terms of ability, Solarte is much closer to them than someone like Longoria or even Frazier. It's why no one had heard of him prior to last week and why he's just now sniffing the majors at age 26. He showed modest pop in the minors, enough that he could maybe hit 15 homers over a full season, but unlike McGehee and Plouffe, his playing time hinges on other players' health. Right now, he's filling in for Mark Teixeira.
It's another Zoilo Almonte situation. Like Solarte, he got off to an impossibly good start before eventually regressing to his pedigree and becoming an afterthought in Fantasy. But he arrived midseason. This time of year, with so many breakout possibilities still on waivers, you can't afford to waste roster space on Solarte, at least not in standard mixed leagues.
Solarte made his first major-league start at third base and proved to be a spark plug. He was 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI single, and reached base an additional time via a walk. He scored twice, as the bottom two of the Yankees' lineup accounted for each of the team's runs scored.
Solarte has appeared in two games for the Yankees, and will likely continue to be used as a utility infielder moving forward. He hit .276/.323/.403 in 133 games for Triple-A Round Rock a year ago.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/23/2014 vs Boston|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||AA-New Britain Rock Cat||32||127||14||35||9||0||3||19||3||18||1||1||.290||.417||.276|
|2010||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||45||172||19||55||9||1||2||15||13||13||3||0||.371||.419||.320|
|2011||AA-New Britain Rock Cat||121||459||64||151||36||3||7||49||24||38||5||4||.367||.466||.329|
|2012||AAA-Round Rock Express||130||518||69||149||28||0||11||54||41||44||3||1||.340||.405||.288|
|2013||AAA-Round Rock Express||133||526||66||145||31||0||12||75||39||69||3||0||.323||.403||.276|