Left-Handed Starting Pitcher - Anthony Solometo
While Skenes could be an ace with a blazing fastball, Anthony Solometo could also be an ace, but at a slower pace. Solometo was the Pirates’ second round draft pick in 2021. Since then, he’s developed nicely, and is on pace to be in the Pirates’ big league rotation sometime next season. The thing is, Solometo is even younger than Skenes.
In 110 innings pitched for both Greensboro and Altoona, Solometo worked to a quality 3.26 ERA, 3.46 FIP, and 1.19 WHIP. All of his peripherals were quality, owning a 26.2% K%, 8.6% BB%, and 0.65 HR/9 rate. Solometo’s numbers took a dip going from Greensboro to Altoona, but he was also the youngest pitcher in the Eastern League last year. Despite being the 28th youngest pitcher over the last decade to pitch 50+ innings at Double-A, he posted about league average numbers, which, in my opinion, says more about Solometo than his 4.35 ERA.
Solometo easily has the best command in the system. He cut his BB% down from 10.7% for Greensboro to just 6.5% after getting promoted. Even then, that doesn’t do him justice as to how good he is at hitting his spots. Not only can he locate better than most prospects, he does so with a ton of deception.
Solometo has an extremely low arm-slot, similar to that of Madison Bumgarner. With a big leg kick and an arm motion that brings the ball back as far as Solometo can reach, it makes all of his stuff play up. Speaking of his stuff, everything sits at about a 55-grade level. Solometo saw a decent velocity bump this season, going from 90-92 MPH, to 92-94 MPH, and topping out at 95. His fastball also has arm-side run. Both his slider and change-up have proven to be good pitches as well.
Solometo with his wicked motion, and his laser-like command are going to be fun to watch at PNC Park next season. Solometo could start 2024 at Indianapolis at just 21. There have only been 25 pitchers to throw at least 50 innings at the Triple-A level since 2013 (including Jared Jones), so to get Solometo work in at Triple-A at that age is something that he and the Pirates should be proud of.
Honorable mentions: Michael Kennedy, Hunter Barco