The Pittsburgh Pirates had a very strong draft in 2019 with many of those prospects emerging on their Top 30 prospect lists. Checking in at number seven is their second pick from last season.
Although the Pittsburgh Pirates have let go of now former General Manager Neal Huntington, he will have somewhat of a lasting impact on the organization well down the road. This past season’s draft will mark the last one of the Huntington era. Whether it is a good thing or not remains to be seen. However, many experts are high on what Huntington brought in during the 2019 draft.
Ranking as the Pittsburgh Pirates number seven overall prospect on MLB Pipeline is outfielder Sammy Siani. The Pittsburgh Pirates used their second pick, and 37th overall, last year to take the upside prep outfielder from Philadelphia and signed him to an over-slot deal to pass on his commitment to Duke University.
Siani is one of the most projectable players they took in last year’s draft class. He stands at 6’1” and only weighs around 190 pounds, giving him plenty of opportunity to add more muscle to his frame. Also, he will not turn 19 until the beginning of December making him one of the younger top picks in last year’s draft. As Siani continues to mature and fill into his frame he likely will turn into a solid power hitter.
After signing last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates placed Siani with their Gulf Coast affiliate. In the GCL, Siani was thrown right into the thick of things being placed at the top of the lineup for the Bucs affiliate. He saw mixed results in his début with a bit of an up and down couple months. He hit below .220 in June (only three games) and in August. However, in July he hit a solid .276 and saw his on-base percentage well over .400.
Overall, Siani finished the season with a slash line of .243/.372/.308 with no home runs. As mentioned earlier, Siani is young and still growing into his frame. Combine his attributes with the transition from high school bats to wooden bats, it makes sense why his slugging percentage was so low. As he adjusts to a wooden bat and he matures, his left-handed swing should develop some nice pop.
The part that stood out was Siani’s ability to get on base. While he only batted .243 he saw his on-base percentage be almost 130 points higher. This is mainly because of his plate discipline. Siani only struck out 41 times in 39 games, which is not outstanding, but it is still pretty solid. Meanwhile, he was able to show a great eye at the plate drawing 26 walks in those games. Hopefully, this ratio continues to stay close as he moves up in the farm system.
Siani also grades out as a plus runner. According to MLB Pipeline, Siani has a grade of 55, which for comparison is the same grade outfielder Jason Martin received. He swiped five bags in five attempts this season and showed he was capable of playing centerfield. His arm is probably his worst tool, which grades out to be average so he likely projects as a future left-fielder.
Sammy Siani could get an aggressive push to full-season ball in 2020. The team has typically operated this way with their high upside offensive prep picks. Obviously, things could be different once the new regime is in place. It will be interesting to see if he is able to build on his experiences from last year and continue to show his all-around skills.