Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Next Baby Bomber to Watch: Nick Solak

The New York Yankees have far exceeded anyone’s expectations here in 2017 with a young team that was not expected to make a serious playoff run until next season. With the Yankees magic number to clinch a playoff spot now under 10 with just a couple weeks to go left in the regular season a return to the postseason looks like an almost guarantee for the boys in pinstripes. This is great news if you’re a Yankees player or a fan of the Bronx Bombers as the “now” looks bright but what should make you even happier is the outlook towards the future. This team’s farm system is still plentiful and deep and one such member of that farm system is a young man we will showcase as our next Baby Bomber to watch, his name is Nick Solak.

Solak was a second round pick for the New York Yankees back in the 2016 MLB First Year Players Draft out of the University of Louisville as a second baseman. Solak was drafted with the intention of moving him through the system quickly and that is exactly what is happening right now with the former Cardinals infielder. Solak made his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2016 before having a breakout type season here in 2017 splitting time between the High-A Tampa Yankees and the Double-A Trenton Thunder. Solak has spent much of this season in Tampa but since his promotion to Trenton the Yankees second base prospect has seemingly not missed a beat.

Combined this season Solak hit .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs and 26 doubles, that’s power the Yankees would love to get out of a middle infielder going forward. Solak did see his strikeout numbers increase in 2017 striking out 100 times but the team also saw Solak walk 63 times, a 12% clip this season. With this kind of production Solak is not long for Double-A and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the right-hander in Triple-A earlier rather than later during the 2018 season. Whether that trip to Scranton sets up Solak to be the everyday second baseman or a bench piece like Ronald Torreyes has been remains to be seen but one thing is for certain, Solak is on the path to the Major Leagues and you better get off the tracks… because he’s coming.

One thing I will say about Solak with the Yankees and his path to the Majors is this, New York has so much depth at the middle infield positions right now that could very well work against Solak in his journey to the show. Dare I say, trade bait this offseason? Who knows, stay tuned. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)