Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

S.F. Giants' Donovan Solano leads MLB in batting as he praises God

Now two weeks into Major League Baseball’s unusual 60-game regular season in 2020, a relatively unknown utility infielder for the San Francisco Giants, Donovan Solano, is setting the league ablaze.

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After a 3-for-4 performance Thursday against Colorado (including two doubles), Solano is leading all of baseball with a batting average of .465 in 43 at-bats. His 20 hits (including one home run and six doubles) tie him with Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners for the most in the majors. Solano’s hitting prowess has even earned him a new nickname: Donnie Barrels.

Solano showed flashes of his hitting potential with San Francisco last year, as he hit .330 in 81 games. He was previously with the Miami Marlins from 2012-2015 and appeared in nine games for the New York Yankees in 2016, but then spent much of the next 2.5 years in the minors.

The 32-year-old from Colombia signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent in 2005, but never appeared in a major-league game over his seven seasons with the franchise. He has spent much of his time as a professional bouncing around the minor leagues.

But Solano seized an opportunity with the Giants in 2019 at the age of 31, having not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he filled in admirably at shortstop in place of the injured Brandon Crawford. When asked about his ability to step into the lineup and produce immediately, he credited his consistent routine and his faith in God.

“I’m a believer and I have a deal with God,” he told The Mercury News through a translator last summer. “And the deal is I’m going to continue working and persist and not give up and when He opens the door, I’m going to take advantage of it.”

Solano often mentions his faith on his Instagram page in his native Spanish, frequently citing Bible verses. His favorite is Zechariah 4:6.

“So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but My Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty.'” — Zechariah 4:6

“Do everything God’s way. Do things with the Holy Spirit and you will reach His promises,” Solano posted on Instagram earlier this week.

The Giants are 6-8 on the young season and sit four games out of first place in the National League West. They will look to make up some ground as they start a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

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