Nick Solak, 2B, RHH, 23, AA
Like Kean Wong, Nick Solak has nowhere to go in the foreseeable future in Tampa, blocked by Wendle, Robertson, and Lowe. The 2nd round draft pick of the New York Yankees came to the Rays by way of the three team trade that sent Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona earlier this year.
At Double-A Montgomery, Solak tormented opposing pitchers, hitting .282 with 19 homers and a slugging percentage of .450. His wRC+ of 140 shows just how good of a year Solak had. Unlike Wong, Solak possesses a powerful swing that landed him in the Rays top 15 prospects in 2018. Finishing the season ranked as there 11th best prospect in the Rays loaded system.
Right behind Solak at 11, is Vidal Brujan at 12. The highly touted Brujan is likely the Rays second baseman of the future. Even if the Rays trade away Wong allowing Solak to play regularly at triple-A, Solak would essentially reach Tampa in 2020. The Rays don’t want to play for 2020, they want to play for 2019 which is why I think the Rays will view Solak as expendable in trade talks.
Not only is Solak expendable but he is immensely talented and could prove big dividends in trade talks. If the Rays look to make a move for Carlos Carrasco or Paul Goldschmidt, I think the second baseman could play a pivotal role in getting a deal done. Solak is likely a year away from being an everyday second baseman, sadly he won’t get that chance in Tampa Bay.