2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Nick Solak

By: Burke Granger

Nick Solak – 2B – Louisville.  5’11” 175.  Bats: R.  Throws: R.  DOB: January 11, 1995.  Last Drafted:  Never.  

SCOUTED:

Xavier Musketeers @ Louisville Cardinals.  February 28, 2015, Louisville, KY (DH)

Louisville Cardinals @ Ohio State Buckeyes – April 14, 2015. Columbus, Ohio.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Louisville Cardinals.  March 11, 2016, Louisville, KY (DH).

No school recruits the Chicagoland area better than Louisville.  Having gone to that well with Kyle Funkhouser and Corey Ray, the Cardinals added Nick Solak; giving them a third 2016 draft prospect from that area.

 

Undrafted out of Naperville North (Ill.) High School, Solak started contributing once he stepped on campus in Louisville.  As a freshman, Solak led a Louisville team that would go to Omaha in hitting (.351).  Serving primarily as a DH and left-fielder for his first two years, Solak now holds down second base for the Cardinals and his bat has played up regardless of his defensive position.

*Stats as of June 5, 2016.

YEAR
AVE
OBP
SLG
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
K
SB/ATT
2014
.351
.455
.464
5
0
2
25
17
14
9/13
2015
.324
.416
.439
15
2
3
40
26
31
18/25
2016
.370
.468
.552
14
1
4
26
27
19
9/11

HITTING:  His best tool, Solak has hit well each spring and summer throughout his college career.  With a wide stance, quiet head and simple load, Solak barrels balls with regularity leading to a high average.

POWER:  The same simple hitting mechanics that help Solak hit for a high average, nearly zap his power potential.  Though he has quick hands and is efficient to the ball, I don’t see enough strength to produce a lot of raw power at the professional level. His level swing lends itself more to being a gap to gap doubles hitter than someone who will hit 10+ home runs a season.  That said, he did hit one of the furtherest home runs I’ve seen this year in the ACC Tournament in Durham.

SPEED:  Solak is an advanced baserunner with enough speed to handle multiple positions as a pro.  With above average speed, Solak could be a moderate base-stealing threat as a professional.

ARM:  Having seen him at left field and second base, he has enough arm for either but I didn’t see an arm that could play on the left side of the infield or the other outfield corner.

DEFENSE:  Solak didn’t play much second base last season in deference to slick fielding newcomer Devin Harriston, which is not a knock on the former.  With average quickness and passable range, I think he’ll be given a shot to stick at second as a professional with left and perhaps center as fallback options.

FUTURE:  Solak’s bat has kept him in the lineup, and it’s his bat that will get him drafted.  While he missed some time after being hit on the hand with a pitch earlier this season, his draft stock seems unaffected.  Ranked 86th on Baseball America‘s big board and 147th on MLB.Com‘s list, Solak could go off the board in the 3-5 round range.

DISCLAIMER:  It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  I do however actually go to see these guys play live, which is more than you’ll get from many online “Scouting Reports”.  I also talk to scouts when I’m there.  While scouts reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.

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