In this edition of ESNY’s New York Yankees prospect profile, we take a look at second baseman Nick Solak.
With their pick in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected second baseman Nick Solak out of the University of Louisville.
What led the Yankees to select Solak so early in the draft was the spectacular beginning he had to his college season. He was one of the hottest hitters throughout his whole league. He was batting .455 with Louisville through 22 games before a hit by pitch to his hand caused him to miss some time.
The 22-year old is mainly accredited for his skill of getting on base as well as his above-average speed. He is able to spray the ball across the field, but not with much power. However, his speed makes up for this lack of pop.
Solak is able to use his speed to beat out infield ground balls as well as creating a threat to himself on the basepaths. There is no denying the incredible talent the infielder has to simply make contact with the ball and see where it goes from there.
Take a look at what scouts have to say about the rest of his skills:
Scouting grades via MLB Pipeline: Hit: 55 / Power: 30 / Run: 55 / Arm: 40 / Field: 50 / Overall: 45
As seen by the grades, scouts have given Solak above average grades in his hitting as well as his running, while giving some credit to his glove as well.
Currently, the second baseman is clearly lacking some power in his bat, but considering he is still only 22-years old there is still some room to grow in that area.
Solak stands at 5-foot-11 while weighing 175lbs, the expected frame for a second baseman, nothing over the top. However, putting on some weight in the future could be beneficial to Solak’s bat gaining some pop.
The right-handed hitter made his professional debut shortly after being drafted in June of 2016 with the Staten Island Yankees. In 64 games with Staten Island, Solak sported a .321/.412/.421 slash line as well as driving in 25 RBI’s and stealing eight bags.
While he did show off what he could do with his bat pretty well, his glove did not show much of the same. He made six errors in 59 games at second, not terrible but not spectacular either.
Solak is still somewhat adjusting to being an everyday second baseman, considering he just made the move there last spring after being an outfielder for most of his life.
Some scouts believe that he is destined to be a center fielder one day, but for now, the Yankees are going to keep him at second base.
This is one of their prospects who the Yankees are incredibly high on, they love his “gamer makeup” as well as his dazzling work ethic. He strives to improve his game each time he walks onto the field in order to become the best version of himself possible.
According to MLB Pipeline, Solak will most likely not arrive in the Bronx until 2019, however, if he keeps hitting like he did in 2016, it will be hard for the Yankees not to bring him up to the show.