Sammy Solis, 25, is back in the Arizona Fall League for his third run in the so-called "finishing school" for the game's top prospects. Washington's 2010 2nd Round pick first pitched in the AFL after signing with the Nationals in mid-August that summer and throwing four innings for the Hagerstown Suns at the end of that season. The 6'5'' lefty was (1-0) with a 3.82 ERA, a 4.72 FIP, seven walks (2.66 BB/9) and 12 Ks (4.56 K/9) in 23 2/3 IP for the Scottsdale Scorpions in his first taste of AFL action.
Solis split his 2011 campaign between the Low-A Suns and High-A Potomac Nationals, going (2-1) with a 4.02 ERA, a 3.22 FIP, 12 walks (2.68 BB/9) and 40 Ks (8.93 K/9) in 40 1/3 IP and seven starts for Hagerstown before joining the P-Nats and going (6-2) with a 2.72 ERA, a 3.16 FIP, 11 walks (1.76 BB/9) and 53 Ks (8.47 K/9) in 10 starts and 56 1/3 IP.
Solis returned to Arizona that fall, making seven starts for the Scorpions in which he was (1-1) with a 4.50 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 16 walks (5.54 BB/9) and 25 Ks (8.65 K/9) in 26.0 IP. Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo told MLB Network Radio hosts Jim Bowden and Casey Stern that November that he'd been to Arizona to see Solis in action and came away impressed with what he saw from the left-hander:
"He was 93-96, he's got a plus changeup. We're revamping, taking him from a spiked curve ball, which he had trouble commanding to a more traditional curve ball, and if that becomes a useable pitch for him, this guy could go quickly, and take off and be a real factor for us in the very near future."
Solis felt discomfort in his elbow at the end of his second stint in the AFL, however, and eventually had Tommy John surgery which cost him the entire 2012 season. Solis returned to competitive action with the Potomac Nationals this past May. In 13 games, 12 of them starts, he was (2-1) with a 3.43 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 19 walks (2.97 BB/9) and 40 Ks (6.24 K/9) in 57 2/3 IP. Solis started his third stint in the AFL this afternoon at the home of the Mesa Solar Sox, HoHoKam Park.
In 3 2/3 scoreless innings pitched, Solis gave up three hits and a walk while striking out two, throwing 56 pitches, 39 strikes and inducing seven ground ball outs. Nats' backstop prospect Adrian Nieto was 1 for 2 with a walk, double and a run scored. Nats' outfielder prospects Steven Souza was 1 for 5 in the Solar Sox' 13-3 win.
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