5 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects to watch at the Florida Complex League

Much of the Pittsburgh Pirates' talent is in the low-levels of the minor leagues, so who are some Florida Complex League prospects to watch this year?
Aug 28, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, US; West pitcher Zander Mueth (13) during the Perfect Game
Aug 28, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, US; West pitcher Zander Mueth (13) during the Perfect Game / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Florida Complex League is a short-season level and a step below A-Ball. Their season has just begun. This is where many recent high school draft picks or international signees are playing right now. With many of the Pittsburgh Pirates' best talents being recent international signings or guys they have selected out of high school over the last year, there are a lot of young kids to watch for the Pirates' affiliate at this level.

Zander Mueth

While Paul Skenes obviously gets all the attention from the Pirates' 2023 draft class, Zander Mueth is someone with a ton of potential. Ben Cherington always takes at least one high school arm early in the draft. Before him, it was Jared Jones, Anthony Solometo, Bubba Chandler, and Michael Kennedy. Last year, it was Mueth in the second round last year, who I think can be as highly touted as those other arms.

Mueth couldn't have asked for a better debut. He pitched 3.1 innings, striking out a whopping six batters. He only allowed one free pass as well. But it doesn't seem like the defense held up their end of their bargain for Mueth's debut as he also allowed six unearned runs. 

There's a reason why many like Mueth. For one, he's a 6 foot 6, 205-pound presence on the mound. There's projectability left in his tall frame. Second, he already has good stuff. Mueth sits at 92-95 MPH and tops out at 97 MPH already. Keep in mind he won't turn 20 until late June of next year. Mueth has a big slider that sits in the low-80s with a ton of break. His third pitch is a change-up in the mid-80s. All three of his pitches have at least average potential.

The third reason why many like Mueth is because of his deceptive arm slot. Mueth throws from a side-arm arm slot that some have compared to Boston Red Sox right-hander Tanner Houck. Both have similar arm slots, though Mueth's might be slightly lower, and both have a similar frame as Houck stands at 6 foot 5, 225. 

I think Mueth has the potential to be the Pirates' next best pitching prospect. He throws hard for being so young, has a low and deceptive arm slot, and has projectability on his side. In two or three years, we might be talking about him the same way we talk about Bubba Chandler.