Sammy Solis #51 (left) needs to have someone take more pictures of him. This one with some guy named Harper, Bryce (right) is the only one available. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
6'5'', 230 lb left-hander Sammy Solis made two starts, throwing 4.0 innings for the Class-A Hagerstown Suns after agreeing to a $1M dollar signing bonus in August of 2010. The Washington Nationals drafted the then-22-year-old starter out of the University of San Diego 51st overall with the first pick of the 2nd Round of the 2010 Draft. Solis had just finished a (9-2) season with San Diego in which he walked 29 (2.8 BB/9) and struck out 92 (9.0 K/9) while holding opposing hitters to a .233 BAA in 14 starts (15 appearances) and 92.0 IP.
Solis, Nats' Assistant GM Roy Clark told MLB.com's Bill Ladson in an August 2010 blog post entitled, "Nationals sign Solis, Cole before deadline" is a pitcher who, "... has a chance to move very quickly and we are very happy to bring him to DC." The lefty was described by ESPN.com's Keith Law in an article that August entitled, "A crucial stretch for the Nationals", as, "... the sort of quick-to-the-majors pitcher [the Nationals] need to become more competitive in the short term without having to overspend for back-end starters through free agency."
After just two starts in the Nats' system, Solis was sent to the Arizona Fall League where the lefty was (1-0) in six games, five starts and 23.2 IP in which he walked seven, K'd 12 and gave up 13 runs, 10 earned. Solis was the winning pitcher in the 2010 AFL Championship game, throwing 72 pitches, 43 of them strikes in 4.0 IP over which he allowed just 3 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned.
Solis, after two starts in the Nats' system and his AFL stint was the top left-hander on Baseball America's December 2010 Top 10 Prospect list, ranked sixth overall in the Nats' system. He started his first full pro season back at Class-A Hagerstown where he was (2-1) in seven starts and 40.1 IP, walking 12 (2.68 BB/9) and striking out 40 (8.93 K/9) while posting a 4.02 ERA and a 3.22 FIP. After moving to High-A Potomac, Solis was (6-2) with a 2.72 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 11 walks (1.76 BB/9) and 53 K's (8.47 K/9) in 10 starts and 56.1 IP. Solis and P-Nats' outfielder Destin Hood made Baseball America's year-end list of the Class-A Carolina League's Top 20 prospects, finishing 13th and 14th respectively on the list.
The Nationals sent Solis back to the Arizona Fall League this year, where he made his 2011 AFL debut last Wednesday throwing 53 pitches, 30 of them strikes in his first start, giving up two hits, three walks and one run in 3.0 IP. Solis needed 25 of his 53 pitches to get through his first inning of work. The lefty threw a 16-pitch second and a 12-pitch third before he was done.
It took Solis 63 pitches to get through four innings tonight in Arizona. In his second start for the Scorpions, Solis surrendered six hits and four runs, all earned, walked one, K'd two and induced six groundouts and 3 flyouts from the 18 batters he faced. Back-to-back one-out singles, a wild pitch and a walk loaded the bases in the first before Rockies' '09 2nd Round pick Nolan Arenado's two-run single gave the Salt River Rafters an early 2-0 lead. Solis followed up on a 22-pitch first by throwing a 13-pitch second in which a double play grounder erased a one-out single. The Scorpions' starter gave up a leadoff single and a double in the first two at bats of the third, so a groundout and sac fly scored two more runs and stretched him out to 21 pitches. His fourth and final inning saw Solis retire the side in order on seven pitches.
Solis was limited to just 96.1 IP this season, after getting a late start to the year and missing time with elbow issues. Will Solis start the 2012 season at Double-A? Just how quick to the majors is the left-hander? Baseball America had him in the rotation by 2014 which isn't soon enough to save the Nationals from having to pursue another starter for the 2012 rotation.