Will Nick Solak steal playing time away from this Reds player?

Texas Rangers designated hitter Nick Solak (15) rounds third base.
Texas Rangers designated hitter Nick Solak (15) rounds third base. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Solak will find himself in an enviable position in 2023. The former Texas Rangers utility player joined the Cincinnati Reds earlier this offseason and will look to make an impact with his new club.

Solak was a second-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2016, the same draft that gave the Cincinnati Reds Nick Senzel. Ironically, Solak and Senzel may be competing for the same role on next year's team.

Senzel is coming off yet another season where he finished the year on the IL. Despite playing a career-high 110 games, Senzel's future is very cloudy. Will Solak steal playing time away from the former first-round pick?

Will Reds newest OF Nick Solak steal playing time away from Nick Senzel?

While Nick Solak is a versatile defender, the 27-year-old is much more well-regarded for his bat than his glove. Solak can play second base, but it appears the Reds envision him as more of an outfielder on their team next season.

Solak is also a right-handed hitter; something that will help him tremendously in the Reds' left-handed hitting dominated outfield. TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, and Michael Siani are all left-handed batters.

Solak was part of the Texas Rangers Opening Day lineup in 2022, but slashed just .207/.309/.329 in 35 games. Solak was demoted to Triple-A Round Rock and hit .278/.371/.489 with a wRC+ of 114 in 57 games for the Express last season.

Nick Solak has a very similar makeup to Nick Senzel. Solak was a highly-regarded infield prospect throughout most of his minor league career, but while in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, he saw time in the outfield. A fringy arm likely places Solak in left field, but he's seen time in center field as well.

Stuart Fairchild is the only other right-handed hitting outfielder currently on the Cincinnati Reds roster. The trio of Fairchild, Senzel, and Solak could all be competing for the same type of role next season, though there's some belief Senzel will see more time back on the infield dirt in 2023.

Senzel's lack of production since coming to the big leagues will open the door for others, either on the 40-man roster or in the farm system. Solak has one minor league option remaining, but one has to assume that he'll be given a lot of opportunities to find a regular spot in the lineup if he excels during spring training.

Next. Trade interest in Alexis Diaz is downright insulting. dark