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Nick Valaika

2B | PiratesPIT
West Virginia Black Bears West Virginia Black Bears
Nick Valaika
Name: Nicholas Logan Valaika
Born: Dec 7, 1995 in Valencia, CA
High School: Hart HS, Valencia, Calif.
College: UCLA
Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 185 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Drafted in the 24th round (718th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017
Valaika is cut from the same cloth as older brothers Pat (a College World Series champion at UCLA last year), Chris and Matt (who both played infield at UC Santa Barbara, with Chris reaching the big leagues). Nick will follow Pat's path to UCLA this fall, assuming he doesn't sign a pro contract--and he is not expected to. Like his brothers, Valaika is a polished, heady player who performs above his tools. His instincts and smooth actions make him a strong defender at shortstop despite below-average speed, and his 55 arm helps compensate for any range shortcomings. Valaika has a rather thick, sturdy frame and strength to the gaps in his righthanded swing. He has an advanced feel for his barrel, giving him a chance to be a solid hitter with occasional power. But his body lacks projection, and he'll have to prove he can stick at shortstop, just like his brothers. Scouts don't discount his chance to do so.
Career Statistics
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