Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates picked Anthony Solometo with their second round selection. This year, they could take another unique lefty early in the draft with Carson Palmquist.
During last year’s draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected high school left-hander Anthony Solometo in the second round of the draft. Solometo was one of the many over slot picks the Pirates made during the draft, signing for $2,797,500 when his slot value was at $1,999,300. Going into the draft, Solometo was known for his high-end command, but also his wind-up, delivery, and arm slot that represents something of a Dontrell Willis and Madison Bumgarner combination.
Looking ahead to the 2022 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates could select another interesting left-hander with a funky delivery. That pitcher is the University of Miami’s Carson Palmquist. Last season Palmquist spent the season as the team’s multi-inning closer.
In 44.2 innings, Palmquist recorded 14 saves while posting a 2.22 ERA, and 0.67 WHIP. The southpaw struck out nearly 45% of batters faced, posting a 44.6% strikeout rate. However, he was also a master at location, walking just 4.8% of opponents. Palmquist’s biggest struggle has been home runs. He gave up 8 for a 1.20 HR/9 rate.
Palmquist looks to move into his team’s rotation in 2022. He has the two-pitch mix you like to see from many relievers. His four-seam fastball tops out in the 95-96 MPH range but usually sits in the low-90’s. He also has a great slider that MLB Pipeline sees as a 60-grade offering. He does have a change-up, but it only sits at a 45-grade right now.
What helps all of Palmquist’s offerings play up is his delivery and motion. Palmquist has been given Chris Sale comparisons as his delivery, wind-up, and arm slot are very reminiscent of the All-Star left-hander. Here’s Palmquist blowing a 95 MPH fastball by then Louisville catcher Henry Davis, who was the Pirates’ 1/1 pick in the 2021 draft:
Palmquist is currently the 66th best prospect in the draft, according to MLB Pipeline. That would put him in late second-round territory. However, if he can prove he can handle working out of the rotation, he’s a guy that could go early in the second round.
There’s a lot to like about Palmquist. From his plus command to his wind-up/delivery that helps with deception, and his overall great numbers, Palmquist is a good use of the Pittsburgh Pirates second or third-round pick. He’s a left-hander that has a floor of a shutdown reliever, or a no. 2 starting pitcher.