Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Examining Where Zander Mueth Fits in the Farm System

Where does the newly selected high school righty fit in the Pirate farm system?

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

After being selected 67th overall in the 2023 MLB Draft, where could righty Zander Mueth fit into the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are making a notable push to improve their pitching rotation, starting with their selection of Paul Skenes as the no. 1 overall pick. They have continued their efforts by choosing a raw right-hand pitcher Zander Mueth with their 67th overall pick.

Mueth, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound powerhouse, is known for his fastball that clocks in the upper 90s with considerable life. His slider is another weapon in his arsenal, providing a big swing-and-miss pitch that keeps batters guessing. In January 2021, the Belleville East High School alumnus intended to join Ole Miss.

However, his recent selection by the Pirates has put him at a crossroads: he must now decide between embarking on a professional career or showcasing his skills in Oxford.

Where does Mueth Fit Within The Pirate Farm System?

Operating out of a low three-quarters arm slot, Mueth creates a lot of horizontal action and deception with his pitches. His fastball sits at 92-94 mph and peaks at 97 with heavy sink and run. His 80-82 mph slider sweeps in the opposite direction from his heater and breaks so much that he sometimes struggles to land it for strikes.

Suppose Mueth can regularly generate greater sink and velocity differentiation from his fastball. In that case, his mid-80s changeup has the potential to evolve into a reliable third-pitch option. While he doesn't come with a standard delivery, he has a whippy arm action and throws without effort. The Mississippi recruit fashions difficult angle and shape to his pitches but needs to improve his control after battling the strike zone throughout his senior season.

His unique pitching style and raw power make him a standout prospect. His fastball and slider combination could be a game-changer for the Pirates, who always want to add depth to their pitching roster.

However, Mueth's success with the Pirates largely depends on improving his control and consistency. His slider, while powerful, can sometimes be unpredictable. If he can harness this power and improve accuracy, he could become a formidable player in the Pirates' ranks.

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