Patrick Teale

Nick Solak had a great debut season last year and he says he's close to ready for his first full season this year.

Second baseman Nick Solak had a great debut season last year, hitting a team-high .321 for Staten Island and sporting a .412 on-base percentage. He spent his offseason, however, preparing for his first full season this year. Working on getting his timing back in Spring Training, he says he's close to ready.

He collected 13 doubles and three home runs last year too, as well as stealing eight bases without getting caught.  As good a debut season as it was, however, it left him wanting more as he prepared for his first full season in 2017.

"I lived in Louisville where I went to school," he said of his offseason.  "I lifted, conditioned, hit, and took ground balls there.  We had a bunch of guys that I went to school with who filtered back there during the offseason and we worked out together.  I kind of had a little program going.

"That's what I did in the offseason and got here in January.  It was nice to get down here.  You can get as much work as you can in up north but it's not like being in the sun and the heat down here."

Solak, who attended the Yankees' Captain Camp back in January, appears to have taken his offseason quite seriously.  He showed up to camp in great shape this year, adding eight pounds of good weight to what was already a rather strong frame.

"I put on some weight, been eating good, and the body feels good and ready to go," he said.

He not only wanted to get stronger to better handle the rigors of his first full season this year but to show everyone that he took his offseason serious in preparation for what would be his first ever Spring Training camp.

"It's going well," he opined.  "I've been down here since January.  I went to the Captain's Camp and then Spring Training came along, and everything's been good.

"You show up everyday working to get better and working to get ready for the season.  It's an exciting time and it's been going well.

"It's really exciting, the chance to play for this organization and go out there and compete.  It's exciting and the best thing is being able to put on the jersey and going out there to compete day in and day out."

Known for that fiery competitive spirit nearly as much as his advanced hitting approach, Solak, who worked tirelessly in the offseason, has had but one simple goal for Spring Training.

"Just getting my timing down at the plate, I think that's one of the biggest things.  On the offensive side that's what it is, seeing pitches, getting your timing down, and getting back into the swing of things.  Defensively just getting reads off the bat and getting your timing as well."

He has looked very strong in camp so far and enduring a busy offseason has surely helped.  In fact, some might argue that Solak, who ended last year hitting .425 in his last ten games, appears ready to pick up right where he left off.

"Definitely, I feel close.  It doesn't take a whole lot to get it going.  I feel good with where I'm at and I'm excited for the season to start," he concluded.


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