Acquired by the Rangers from Tampa Bay in 2019 in exchange for reliever Pete Fairbanks, Solak has spent time at second base and in the outfield, providing (mostly) excellent bat-to-ball skills during his tenure in Arlington.
His .884 OPS in 116 at-bats for Texas in 2019 proved to be a glimpse of what Solak could bring to the table as a contributor to this lineup.
A down year in 2020 saw Solak regress significantly, posting a .671 OPS in 209 at-bats, and making many wonder what the future would hold for the 26-year-old.
Well, any reasonable doubts you may have had should effectively be quelled by the breakout offensive campaign Solak is managing to put together early on in 2021.
The Texas Rangers’ starting second baseman is absolutely raking this season, to the tune of a .958 OPS, seven home runs and 14 RBI’s, along with a .390 OBP.
The first two stats would represent career highs for Solak should he maintain this pace over a full season. In fact, with two home runs in the Rangers’ 6-1 Tuesday night victory over the LA Angels, Solak’s total of seven long balls on the season are actually already a career high in a season for him to date.
2B Nick Solak is hitting at a torrid pace for the Texas Rangers in 2021.
His seven blasts also make him the American League’s home run co-leader, even ahead of teammate Nate Lowe’s six home runs in 2021.
Of course, you know what this meant for Solak after the game…
Yee, and I cannot stress this enough, haw!
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All joking aside, Nick Solak is truly making the most of his opportunity in 2021. His defense at second base (his natural position) won’t wow you (it might even make you straight up cringe at times), but it’s his bat that made him an attractive trade target for the Texas Rangers back in 2019.
As long as the Rangers are rebuilding, they’ll need guys like Solak to hit in this lineup to manufacture runs.
Therefore, the lesser defense comes as somewhat of a sacrifice, but one that seems necessary to make, especially since this season is such a critical one to determine if the 26-year-old merits long-term consideration.
For now, all signs appear to be pointing towards Solak becoming a mainstay in Arlington. He’s winning his battle and solidifying his case. The proof is in the pudding.
The question is whether this is all sustainable.
For Solak’s Texas Rangers’ career now and going forward, it better be.