JOEY SOLÁ: THE SCOUT BEHIND CARLOS CORREA AND KIKÉ HERNÁNDEZ

By Hiram Alberto Torraca

Scouts are happy if one of their prospects makes it big time, let alone makes it to the big leagues. Multiply it by two, and it’s like winning the lottery.

Would you believe then that the same scout in Puerto Rico signed the Dodgers’ Enrique “Kiké” Hernández and pushed the Astros to make Carlos Correa the No. 1 pick in the 2012 June Amateur Draft?

“They are my two big leaguers,” said Joey Solá with pride in an interview in Spanish with La Vida Baseball in October.

Solá spent the past week in Houston watching Games 3, 4 and 5 at Minute Maid Park before returning home to his daytime job as dean of education at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School in Gurabo, southeast of San Juan.

Tonight, he’ll watch Game 6 from the island with the same torn loyalties that he felt while in Houston this past week. Nonetheless, he can’t hide the fact that he’s bursting with pride and joy.

“I love these boys as if they were my own kids,” Solá said. “To see them face off in the World Series is every scout’s dream. It’s been a privilege and I’m fully enjoying it.”

BASEBALL LIFER

Solá, 43, is a baseball lifer. He played Little League against Álex Cora, the Boston Red Sox’s new manager. And briefly played college ball at St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania.

When he returned to Puerto Rico, Solá got involved in youth baseball and became a bird scout for the Montreal Expos. He moved on to the Astros in 2004 at the recommendation of the Cuban-born Jorge Posada Sr., another longtime scout and the father of the Yankees’ former All-Star catcher.

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