2021 Breakout Candidate: Could Nick Solak Emerge As A Must Own 20/20 Candidate?

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The numbers for Nick Solak certainly didn’t blow you away in 2020, but does that mean he should be ignored? Playing mostly 2B and in the OF, here’s what he was able to produce:

209 At Bats
.268 Batting Average (56 Hits)
2 Home Runs
23 RBI
27 Runs
7 Stolen Bases
.326 On Base Percentage
.344 Slugging Percentage
.320 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Obviously we’d like to see a little bit more power and/or a little bit more speed, though he showed the potential to develop into at least a 10/10 option. While he only hit 2 HR, he added 10 doubles and in 325 AB over his MLB career he’s delivered 16 doubles, 1 triple and 7 HR.

Of course that 12-15 HR range could be his ceiling, given these metrics:

  • Exit Velocity – 89.9 mph
  • Launch Angle – 9.4

The Launch Angle ranked him 195th among qualified hitters, while the Exit Velocity had him at 77th. Which of those is going to make you think that the 25-year old is going to suddenly become a power threat?

While he has shown some speed in the minors, Solak’s career high was 21 SB at Double-A in ’18. Again, that shows some decent potential but is it really going to impress you?

If we are talking about a 12/12 type player there is value, though it would look even better if there was high upside in his average. His 35.1% Hard% isn’t going to open many eyes, though his command of the strike zone does help (7.8% SwStr%, 29.2% O-Swing%).

Solak surprisingly struggled with fourseam fastballs in ’20, hitting .197 against them. He hit .450 against them in his rookie season and it’s fair to consider last year’s struggles an aberration. That alone will give a sense of potential upside, and with a little speed and an ability to put the ball in play a .275-.280ish hitter may be his floor.

Assuming Solak is going to play everyday, does a .280/12/12 player hold value? Absolutely, and a little bit more development would lead to a 15/15 player if not a little bit more. Considering the lack of power in ’20 and the likely price tag, he’s going to be an ideal target.

Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Savant, Brooks Baseball

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