Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects Season in Review: Tyler Samaniego

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Following a strong 2022 minor league season, left-hander Tyler Samaniego has emerged as one of the Pittsburgh Pirates best relief pitching prospects

The 2021 MLB Draft could go down as a real doozy for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Henry Davis was selected no. 1 overall and has quickly become one of the top catching prospects in baseball. The Pirates also drafted multiple highly touted prep players in the draft such as Anthony Solometo, Bubba Chandler, and Lonnie White Jr., among others.

An overlooked member of their 2021 draft class was left-handed pitcher Tyler Samaniego. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Samaniego in the 15th round of the 2021 draft. Despite being a late round draft pick, Samaniego has quickly emerged as one of the top relief pitching prospects in the Pirate farm system.

Samaniego was selected out of the University of South Alabama. Being a college pitcher it appeared that the lefty could climb through the Pirate farm system quickly. The early returns on the field for Samaniego just further solidifies this.

After starting the 2022 season with High-A Greensboro, Samaniego would pitch 17 innings with the Grasshoppers. Samaniego allowed a run on three hits, 11 walks and 24 strikeouts. Samaniego also recorded four saves during his time at Greensboro. After his 14 dominant performances with the Grasshoppers, Samaniego was promoted to Double-A Altoona.

With the Curve, Samaniego’s success would continue. In 24 outings with the Curve he pitched 30.2 innings, posting a 3.52 ERA and a 3.74 FIP. Samaniego’s ERA does not paint the full picture, however, as it was ballooned by one poor outing. 5 of the 12 runs that Samaniego allowed at the Double-A level came in one outing.

For the season as a whole, Samaniego posted a 2.45 ERA and a 3.46 FIP in 47.2 innings pitched. He walked 10.9% of batters faced, struck batters out at a strong 25.5% clip, and limited opposing batters to a lowly .111 batting average. He allowed just two home runs for the entire season.

When the 2023 season Samaniego will likely be back in Altoona. Although, the Pittsburgh Pirates should seriously consider being aggressive and having him start the season with Triple-A Indianapolis.

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Samaniego should be a big part of the long-term future of the Pirate bullpen. That future could become the present for Samaniego at some point in 2023, making him a Pirate prospect to watch entering next season.