Prospect Spotlight: Nick Solak
The 2016 Major League Baseball draft was considered by many to be a success for the Yankees. While the Yankees were able to pick up a lot of good draft prospects, the most attention was focused on the Yankees snatching up Blake Rutherford with the 18th overall pick when Rutherford had top 10 potential. While the Yankees picked up a very good player in the first round, the Yankees were also able to pick up another good player in Nick Solak.
Photo Credit: Austin Hart
Solak, a second baseman, was selected by the Yankees in the second round out of the University of Louisville where he had a .376 batting average with five home runs, 29 RBIs and nine stolen bases as a junior. Solak finished with a career .346 batting average with ten home runs, 94 RBIs and 38 stolen bases in three years at Louisville. Ranked 10th on the NCAA poll at the end of the 2016 season, Louisville, the alma mater of current Yankees pitcher Chad Green, finished their season at 50-14.
After signing Solak, the Yankees sent him to Staten Island for the rest of the year and Solak had a strong pro debut. In 64 games, Solak batted .321 with three home runs, 25 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 240 at-bats. Solak was named to the Baseball America Short-Season All-Star team and to the Mid-Season All-Star team. In three playoff games, Solak went 6-12 (.500) with three doubles and two RBIs.
While Solak has a large uphill battle to climb with all the minor league levels and middle infield prospects ahead of him, he has some nice offensive tools that should help him climb up the ladder faster than some other prospects. Solak is known for his stick, but he is solid enough defensively as well. He has enough defensive skills to stick at second base but he could eventually move to the outfield in the future if needed as Solak played some outfield in college. Solak might not ever hit for much power, but the Yankees would love for him to continue to hit for a high average and contribute at the Major League level at some point in the future.
Article by: Julian Bussells