Saints Add Triple-A Outfield Speed, Solid Arm with Signing of Chad Hinshaw and Matt Solter
ST. PAUL, MN - Manager George Tsamis discovered during the first year of CHS Field that his team needed speed to cover the large outfield at the Saints new home. Since 2015 that has been a top priority. The Saints found that speed for the 2018 season signing outfielder Chad Hinshaw plus they added another piece to their pitching staff signing right-hander Matt Solter.
The 27-year-old Hinshaw played most of last season at Triple-A New Orleans in the Miami Marlins organization. He hit .229 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 81 games. In 258 at bats he scored 32 runs, ripped 15 doubles, one triple, had a .309 on base percentage and a .341 slugging percentage. His season was highlighted by doubling in five consecutive games from June 10-17. He began the year playing for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League, but after one game he was released. That's when the Marlins signed him as a free agent on April 27.
Hinshaw was drafted in the 15th round of the First Year Player Draft by the Angels in 2013 out of Illinois State University. He hit .258 with eight RBI and nine stolen bases in 26 games at Orem in the Rookie Pioneer League. He reached base safely in 23 consecutive games from June 20-August 3 and, overall, reached base safely in 24 of the 26 games he played. He hit safely in nine straight from June 29-July 26 and scored a run in seven straight from June 27-July 22 (he was injured from June 30-July 17). On top of that he was hit by a pitch in an astounding six consecutive games from June 27-July 21.
In 2014 Hinshaw made his mark on the Angels organization as he began the season at Single-A Burlington in the Midwest League. After being selected to the Midwest League All-Star Game, where he went 1-2 with a home run and two RBI, he was promoted to High-A Inland Empire in the California League. Between the two stops Hinshaw hit a combined .270 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI in 124 games. In 470 at bats he scored 100 runs, crushed 27 doubles, 11 triples, swiped 41 bases, a .365 on base percentage, .477 slugging percentage, and a .842 OPS. The impressive numbers earned him an MiLB.com Organizational All-Star with the Angels. While in Burlington he reached base safely in 29 consecutive games from May 15 until his last game on June 15. He had five separate multi-stolen base games, including three on May 3. He flexed his muscles in the California League hitting 10 of his 16 home runs on the season with Inland Empire, including three straight from August 16-18. That stretch included a two-home run, five RBI game on August 17.
Hinshaw spent all of 2015 at Double-A Arkansas, with the exception of an eight- game rehab assignment in Arizona. He hit .289 with a home run and 26 RBI in 57 games at Arkansas. In 205 at bats he scored 26 runs, had six doubles, one triple, swiped 27 bases in 32 attempts, had a .391 on base percentage, and a .365 slugging percentage. The Travelers reached the playoffs, but lost three-games-to-none in the semifinals to Northwest Arkansas. Once again Hinshaw had an incredible on base streak, reaching base safely in 24 consecutive games from May 10-August 15. Hinshaw stole a base in two or more consecutive games six times, including five straight from August 29-September 2. He missed 10 weeks of the season due to a torn ligament in his thumb from sliding into a base.
In 2016 Hinshaw began the season as the ninth best prospect in the Angels organization, but once again an injury hampered his season. He played in 57 games at Arkansas and hit .190 with five home runs and 23 RBI while stealing 14 bases.
The 24-year-old Solter is not unfamiliar to the Saints as he got his start in the American Association in 2015 with the Gary SouthShore Railcats. He impressed the San Francisco Giants and had his contract purchased by the Giants organization in 2016 and spent the last two seasons with them. Last year Solter split time at Single-A Augusta and High-A San Jose. While with Augusta he went 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in seven games (five starts). In 31.2 innings pitched he struck out 35 and opponents hit .248 against him. He struck out six or more in three of five starts and tossed 5.0 shutout innings of one-hit ball on April 14 vs. Columbia. He was promoted to San Jose on May 14 and went 5-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 14 games (seven starts). In 57.1 innings pitched he struck out 46 and opponents hit .261 against him. Solter won his first four decisions and dazzled in his first start allowing just one run in 7.0 innings against Visalia on May 18. Solter missed five weeks from June 8-July 17, but had a 2.89 ERA prior to the injury. As a starter he was 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA in a hitter dominant league.
Solter spent the 2015 season with the Railcats and went 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances. In 25.2 innings pitched he struck out 14 while opponents hit .343 against him.
The Giants signed him on April 15, 2016 and he pitched the entire season with Augusta where he went 4-6 with a 6.45 ERA in 14 starts. In 68.1 innings pitched he struck out 60 while opponents hit .315 against him. Solter had three separate outings in which he pitched 7.0 innings and gave up zero or one run. He had two separate 7.0 inning, three-hit shutout performances.
The Saints have now signed 19 players this off-season.
LHP - Ryan Boelter
RHP - Mike Devine
LHP - Ken Frosch
RHP - Eddie Medina
RHP - Vinny Nittoli
RHP - Ryan Schlosser
RHP - Matt Solter
RHP - John Straka
RHP - Tyler Warmoth
RHP - Beck Wheeler
OF - Kes Carter
OF - Chad Hinshaw
OF - Max Murphy
OF - Jordan Smith
INF - Josh Allen
INF - Dante Bichette Jr.
INF/OF - Jayce Boyd
INF - Noah Perio
INF Brady Shoemaker
The Saints had signed infielder Jake Hager, but he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers organization on February 20.
The Saints begin the 2018 season on the road against the Gary SouthShore Railcats on Friday, May 18. The Saints first game at home is on Monday, May 21 against the newest member of the American Association, the Chicago Dogs, at 3:05 p.m.
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