How about Yangervis Solarte?
After he tore the covers off of baseballs throughout spring training, Solarte surprised many when he was selected for the 25-man roster instead of Eduardo Nunez. Even though the rest of the batters look fairly decent, Solarte has stormed ahead during Opening Week, going 8-for-17 (.471) during the long road trip.
Meanwhile, Nunez has been forced to watch the Major League team from afar. He didn’t play horribly this spring, with 4 RBI and a batting average of .265 in 19 games, so it came as a shock for a relatively proven player to have his spot usurped by career minor leaguers Solarte and Dean Anna. After arriving in New York during the 2010 season, Nunez has played in 270 games and has amassed 102 runs and 201 hits.
Probably the x-factor for Solarte was his ability to play third base, to replace the suspended Alex Rodriguez. Even though Nunez has manned the hot corner in the past, his fielding statistics aren’t particularly strong. So far, Solarte has five games of MLB experience at third, and has played error-free ball.
Of course, just because Nunez started 2014 off the Yankees roster does not mean he won’t return to the Majors this season. There have only been a whopping six games, and if another batter performs really poorly or incurs an injury, Nunez would most likely be the person to claim that spot. But at this point, Solarte looks like a gleaming diamond in the rough who has just been uncovered.