Jhonatan Solano was one of the catchers the Nationals called up from the minors to fill in after Wilson Ramos was lost for the season in May. Solano acquitted himself well during his brief time with the Nationals, which was cut short by an oblique injury. Solano appeared in twelve games between his debut May 29th and July 17th, when he went on the DL.
2012 Prediction (ZiPS): .244/.284/.341
2012 Actual (with Washington): .314/.351/.571
Jun 12, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Washington Nationals catcher Jhonatan Solano (23) during their game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Nationals beat the Blue Jays 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Solano hit much better than projected in a small sample size. It is impossible to tell if his above average hitting would have continued if he had played more games and major league pitching got more of an opportunity to view film and try to find weaknesses.
Behind the plate, Solano allowed five steals and threw out three runners trying to steal. He committed no errors and assisted in two double plays. His weakness was not blocking balls at the plate, allowing two passed balls and pitchers being charged with five wild pitches while he was catching. He seemed to call good games for the pitchers, but he will need to learn to handle the major league version of the breaking ball in the dirt in order to progress at the highest level.
Solano played for the Nationals AA team in Harrisburg after a month off for his oblique injury. He batted .184 in eleven games.
Solano is another of the talented catching prospects the Nats have stockpiled over the last couple of years. He may see playing time again with the Nationals during the 2013 season, depending upon injuries to starting catchers. He also could be a trade piece for Mike Rizzo if another club is interested enough in him to give up prospects that Rizzo wants in the organization.
Season Highlight: July 4th at Nationals Park against the Giants. Solano went two for four with a home run and a stolen base, contributing to the Nationals win that day. The swiped bag was the only one stolen while he was with the Nats.