Number Eight – LHP Anthony Solometo
Pre-season Ranking: #8
The number eight spot belongs to Anthony Solometo. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Solomet as an overslot pick in the 2021 draft, and he’s far from the last 2021 draft pick you’ll see here today. Solometo was projected as a mid-to-late-first rounder but fell to the Pirates at the 37th overall selection because of his college commitment.
Solometo made his professional debut in 2022, pitching a total of 47.2 innings for A-Ball Bradenton. The southpaw worked to the tune of a quality 2.64 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 1.05 WHIP. Solometo posted a 27.1% strikeout rate, and while he did have a 10.1% walk rate, it isn’t entirely reflective of his ability to locate the ball. He also did not allow a home run, inducing ground balls 50.9% of the time.
Solometo is known for two things: his command and his deceptive delivery and wind-up. The left-hander from Bishop Eustace was arguably the second-best command pitcher in the 2021 draft, only behind former Pirate draftee and now Oakland Athletics prospect Gunnar Hoglund. Solometo’s wind-up includes a high leg kick that has drawn comparisons to Dontrell Willis and Mackenzie Gore and an arm slot to Madison Bumgarner.
Solometo typically throws in the low-90s but has hit 95 MPH before. He also throws a slider, slurve, and change-up. His arm slot allows movement and deception for all four pitches. 2023 will be the southpaw’s age-20 campaign, but given how he performed at Bradenton, there’s a pretty good chance he starts the year with Greensboro. I wouldn’t completely rule out a late-season debut at Altoona, which would be pretty impressive for Solometo.