Padres: Yangervis Solarte and His Sleeper Status Heading into 2017

Yangervis Solarte looks poised for a breakout season for the Padres. But, are fantasy owners still overlooking him heading into 2017?

Each and every season there are certain fantasy sleepers that owners all have in the back of their minds. While these players are often all known on draft day, there are some names that still fall through the crack and fall into fantasy owners’ lap. The Padres’, Yangervis Solarte, fits that mold.

Solarte has come from relative obscurity to emerge as a quality MLB producer. Since being sent over to the Padres from New York in 2014 for Chase Headley, he has done nothing but hit. In 2015, he started his emergence with a .270/14 HR/63 RBI line over 152 games. He followed that with an encouraging .286/15/71 RBI/.808 OPS line in 2016.

The only thing that slowed Solarte from posting a career-best season in 2016, was a hamstring injury in early April, costing him nearly the whole month. He picked it up again in mid-May and was pretty consistent the rest of the season.  But, he did lose over 30 games of production between the injury and his return.

Looking further into his batted ball data, Solarte showed the nearly the identical rates as he did in 2015. His BB rate was a career best 14.2% and his XBH rate jumped as well. His 22% LD, 42% FB, 50% Med and 33% Hard contact rates were all solid outputs. The power uptick came from his ability to simply square the ball up more.

Another positive note from Solarte’s 2016 season, was his ability to handle the bat from both sides of the plate. Against LHP he posted a .271/3 HR/17 RBI/.772 OPS. Versus RHP, .291/12 HR/54 RBI/.819 OPS. The power is clearly from the left side of the plate, but he showed the ability to hit both well as a switch hitter.

Solarte is not going to steal any bases, so his value will come from his AVG/HR/RBI production. In terms of his RBI and AVG numbers, both should hold steady. The Padres could have a dynamic top of the order consisting of Manuel Margot, Wil Myers, and Travis Jankowski, so Solarte could have plenty of RBI opportunities.

He batted .270 in 2015 and .286 in 2016, so his AVG should rest somewhere in the .260-.280 range based on his league average BABIP. In the power department, Solarte should be well set as well. Per ESPN Home Run Tracker, he averaged 394.4 ft. per home run last season. A healthy mark, and an increase from 2015.

Solarte will still be largely overlooked on draft day as owners will just his numbers from last season and be underwhelmed. But, below that surface line were solid peripherals that continue to point to a breakout. He could very well be a .270/20 HR/75 RBI producer that can be had for a late round flier. Do not forget about him.