Taken out of Louisville in the second round of the 2016 draft, second baseman Nick Solak has quickly ascended up the Yankees’ minor league ladder, finishing his second pro season in Double-A Trenton.
Measuring in at 5’11, 175 pounds, Solak doesn’t look like an offensive-mined second basemen, but the stats will tell you otherwise. Across two levels in 2017, Solak slashed .297/.384/.452, adding up to an impressive .835 OPS. The righty slugged 12 home runs and 26 doubles, racking up 138 hits along the way. He also notched 14 stolen bases while only getting caught five times.
The holes in Solak’s game are his strikeouts (100 in 465 at-bats) and his fielding (17 errors). However, he did draw 63 walks, suggesting that his plate discipline is actually pretty good. If he were to cut down on some strikeouts, his offensive game could potentially escalate him into top 100 prospect range.
I like this guy a lot. I heard someone say that he is going to be another Rob Refsnyder type of player and quite frankly I don’t see that at all. He is faster and a better fielder. I think he is a better hitter, too. He dominates left-handed pitching (.352 AVG vs LHP), and his power potential is climbing into the 10-15 (possibly 15-20) home run range.
The farm is loaded with talent and Solak is a big reason the system is still so highly touted after losing a few pieces at the trade deadline. Currently ranked the #8 prospect in the Yankees’ system by MLB.com, I could see Solak inch up this list with a strong season in Trenton.
Where Solak fits in the Yankees’ future plans remains the biggest question mark with Gleyber Torres on the way. Other infield prospects like Thairo Estrada and Kyle Holder also made names for themselves in the Arizona Fall League. Too much minor league talent is never a bad problem to have though, and I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear Solak’s name mentioned as a possible 40-man candidate in the next year or two.
It wouldn’t be too farfetched to imagine Torres at third with Solak manning the keystone in a few years. The future is bright for this Baby Bomber.
What do you think about Solak? Will we see more of him in spring training?