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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs New York Mets (7/20-7/22)

The Yankees enter the second half of the season with a 62-33 record, which has them slotted in second place in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox who are currently 4.5 games ahead with a 68-30 record to this point in the season. Following last year’s close encounter with the Minnesota Twins in the AL Wild Card game, the Yankees should definitely do their best to avoid the one game nightmare in this second half. The Yankees will begin this quest with a three game set against New York’s inferior team, the New York Mets. The Mets are currently sitting at the bottom of the NL East with a 39-55 record and the Yankees won two of the three meetings between the teams this season, signs which should indicate a Yankees’ series win. However, unfavorable pitching matchups could derail the Bronx Bombers in this Subway Series.

Yankees choose Nick Solak out of Louisville with second round pick

After using their first round pick on a high school prospect, the Yankees turned to the college realm in selecting infielder Nick Solak out of the University of Louisville. Solak has been a utility man in college playing both infield and outfield.
Photo Via @Everything.Yanks27 on Instagram
The 5'11", 175-pound prospect has had a lot of success at the plate in college. He hit to a .351/.455/.464 slash line in 47 games in his freshman year, a .324/.416/.429 slash line in 65 games as a sophomore, and he slashed .380/.474/.576 in 45 games as a junior. He was struck by pitch on his hand causing him to miss some games this year.

His power is a developing tool as he only has 10 home runs in 157 career collegiate games, but he has stroked 34 doubles and swiped 36 bags across that span. He is viewed as having solid gap power as of now, and his quick hands and compact swing give him sneaky pop, but he is not expected to post a real power threat going forward.

Rankings on Solak were varied with Baseball America having him as the 86th ranked prospect while MLB.com had him at 147. Being taken at 62 overall, this may seem like the Yankees are reaching with this pick but it may be compensating money to ensure they are able to sign their first rounder Blake Rutherford.

Solak has drawn slight comparisons to current Yankee Rob Refsnyder with his versatility and above average hitting ability, while average to below average power and defensive tools. Still, Solak projects to be a serviceable major leaguer at some point. Here is what MLB.com had to say about him in their scouting report:
"He has a line-drive stroke and focuses on the middle of the field, an approach that leads to consistent contact but not much power. Once he gets on base, he has the solid speed and good instincts to make things happen … He has sure hands and his quickness gives him range, though he doesn’t have the smoothest infield actions and some scouts wonder if he might wind up in center field in pro ball. He receives praise for his gritty makeup."
Above all else, Solak and his college teammates seem to be excited about him being taken by the New York Yankees.

Article by: Chad Raines
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