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Solarte has impressed Jeter, Girardi with his play

Solarte has impressed Jeter, Girardi with his play

MILWAUKEE -- Yangervis Solarte entered play on Saturday with 18 RBIs, leading the Yankees and marking the third-highest total among all big league rookies. The 26-year-old's performance has also earned some solid praise from team captain Derek Jeter.

"He's done good, man," Jeter said. "He's been one of our most consistent hitters. He went through a little stretch there where he scuffled, but that happens to everyone.

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"Him and Jacoby [Ellsbury] have really been the only two guys who have been consistent for us throughout the first month of the season. He enjoys to be out there. He wants to play. He's not intimidated by anything, and he's done a good job."

Solarte trails only Jose Abreu of the White Sox (37 RBIs) and Nick Castellanos of the Tigers (19 RBIs) among rookies. Solarte leads all qualifying rookies with a .304 (31-for-102) average and a .387 on-base percentage.

"That's what I look up and keep saying; this is the young man leading our team in RBIs," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's obviously had a great first five or six weeks. He's played well and he deserves to be out there."

Solarte made the Yankees' roster after a torrid Spring Training, forcing his way onto the club after being cut loose by both the Twins and Rangers organizations earlier in his career. The Yankees were attracted to his switch-hitting ability, as well as his versatility in being able to play third base, second base, shortstop and the outfield.

"I just want to play," Solarte said. "I'm very excited for the team, for the opportunity. I just want to play and help the team."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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