Pittsburgh Pirates: Anthony Solometo Ranks 5th on 2024 Prospect Update

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates / G Fiume/GettyImages
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In the realm of baseball prospects, Anthony Solometo has swiftly risen to prominence within the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, earning recognition as the 5th best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. Pitching at a New Jersey high school, he solidified his position as the top high school lefty in the 2021 MLB Draft class.

The Pirates had plenty of financial flexibility from signing Henry Davis as the No. 1 overall pick. This allowed them to convince the lefty to skip on his college commitment. Solometo received a notable above-slot $2.8 million deal. While he was ranked as a top-25 prospect in the Draft, he was taken with the 37th overall pick.

At an imposing 6-foot-5, Solometo's physicality on the mound is complemented by an unorthodox pitching style, drawing comparisons to Madison Bumgarner and MacKenzie Gore. His fastball is consistently in the 91-92 mph range with the ability to reach 95. Beyond his fastball, Solometo's repertoire includes a solid mid-80s slider with cutter-like action and a developing changeup, showcasing his potential as a starter. All three pitches receive above-average grades.

The year 2023 marked a significant step in Solometo's career, as he ascended to Double-A after starting the year in High-A Greensboro. In High-A, Solometo started 12 games, posting 3 wins with an impressive ERA of 2.30. Over 58.2 innings pitched, he struck out 68 batters, boasting a batting average against of .207, and inducing 25 ground ball outs.

When he went to Double-A, Solometo chad some bumps along the way, starting 12 games with 2 wins. Although his ERA slightly increased to 4.35, he maintained a solid strikeout rate with 50 strikeouts over 51.2 innings pitched. The batting average against rose to .247, accompanied by 14 ground ball outs.

Despite the challenges encountered at the Double-A level, Solometo's ability to maintain a solid strikeout rate and induce ground balls shows that he can get outs at the level. Notably, he moved up one spot in MLB Pipeline's top 10 left-handed pitching prospects. On last year's list he was ranked in the 6th spot, this year he comes in at #5.

Solometo remains the sole left-handed pitching prospect from the Pittsburgh Pirates to feature on these top 10 lists since 2011.

This really highlights the team's need to fortify its southpaw talent, especially given the lefty-friendly dimensions of PNC Park. Nonetheless, Solometo has a chance to reach the Majors this upcoming season. With lofty expectations, one can look forward to the debut of this top lefty prospect.