The 2021 Draft Class was supposed to be a Franchise altering moment for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team invested their top pick in Henry Davis, someone who they knew would sign for below-slot value, and used the savings to bring in other top draft prospects. Those prospects including Anthony Solometo, Lonnie White Jr., and Bubba Chandler, have gotten off to mixed starts in their professional careers.
However, Anthony Solometo who the Bucs took with their 2nd round selection, #37 overall, looks like he is developing into a legitimate prospect. Solometo is a consensus top 20 prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization, but the steps he has taken this year could propel him into the conversation among the best left-handed pitching prospect.
The one thing about the lefty's 2022 season is that he did not pitch a ton of innings. This makes some sense with the Front Office looking to limit innings on young arms. Still, Solometo had a very good 2022 season. He pitched in Low-A and was able to post a 2.64 ERA across 47.2 innings pitched. He also struck out 51 hitters in that time.
So Solometo showed last year why the Pittsburgh Pirates made him the #37 overall selection and paid him an over-slot bonus. However, this year the biggest difference this year is his fastball velocity. In his most recent start on Wednesday night, he showed what he is bringing from the left side in terms of velocity:
Anthony Solometo is looking like the top left-handed pitching prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization.
This is pretty exciting in terms of his growth and development. Initially, he was throwing his fastball in the 88-91 range but has obviously added velocity over the last year or so. To find a left-handed starting pitcher hitting 95 is still rare in today's game.
What makes this even more encouraging is that he is just 20 years old. We have seen plenty of pitchers add more velocity into their 20s so if he keeps heading in the direction he is maybe he will be able to sit around 95 miles per hour. Either way, he is projected to be a part of this team's Big League rotation down the line. In 42.2 innings pitched at High-A, Solometo has a 3.16 ERA with 52 punch outs.