The New York Yankees signed the 62nd pick of this year’s MLB Draft, second baseman Nick Solak, for $950,000.
Despite his stature of 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, he’s generally considered one of the genuine pure hitters in the college ranks from this year’s draft. Solak has the capability to make consistent contact and smack line drives to all sides of the field while containing above average speed.
There is some thought that he’s quick and athletic enough to where he could ultimately play center on a daily basis and be a menace on the basepaths in the big leagues.
He hit .324 during his sophomore season at Louisville while playing second base, outfield, and designated hitter but the Yankees expect him to man the second base position throughout his travels through the farm system.
Solak made $1.04 million as a signing bonus which completed a roller coaster weekend for the 21-year old. Louisville, who seeded second in the NCAA Tournament, were bewildered by UC-Santa Barbara in a super regional, losing Sunday on a walk-off home run.
“I guess you could say the last week has been the highest of highs and lowest of lows,” Solak told the Chicago Tribune. “It was heartbreaking the way our season ended but I’m excited about what’s ahead.”
With this signing, Solak became the fourth Cardinal to ink a deal with a major league team joining left-handed pitcher Drew Harrington (Atlanta), right-hander Zack Burdi (Chicago White Sox) and catcher Will Smith (Los Angeles Dodgers).
He will head on over to Staten Island to initiate his professional career coming off a college campaign in which he slashed .376/.470/.564 in 47 games for Louisville. Overall, Solak slashed and .346/.442/.484 in 159 career games in the NCAA.
What Solak has above many draft picks is a well-bred approach coming from a significant college baseball program. Down the road, comparisons to Rob Refsnyder’s bat could be made but what this draft pick is, is a low-risk pick of a player that has a high floor. Certainly safer than snagging a high school player in the first round of the draft.