Miami Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano is still young and is still learning about big league pitchers. That is the excuse to give him for his less than stellar performance at the plate in his first full year as Marlins’ starting second baseman. Solano did not really improve from taking over Omar Infante‘s spot last season, but what made Solano special was his defensive ability.
Solano finished the season third in range factor at second base. He only committed eight errors and contributed on 69 double plays this season. He recorded 172 putouts and 284 assists on 464 chances in 806.1 innings. Solano has a chance at capturing a gold glove in the National League as his defensive presence was pretty solid in a very down year for the Marlins.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is definitely room for improvement at the plate. He played in 102 games this season and batted .249/.305/.316 with 34 RBI and 17 extra-base hits. Solano was also handed the responsibility of getting on base at the top of the order and did not steal bases as much as he possibly should have. His three stolen bases were down from seven the year before. For someone that relies on speed, Solano did not really put himself in a position to score very often.
There is always room for improvement, but Solano needs to adapt better to the big leagues. Lucky for him, Derek Dietrich did not do well in 2013 either.