Tyler Samaniego was a former 15th-round draft pick who had an odd 2023 season. There were plenty of positives, as he struck out 26% of the batters he faced with an 0.38 HR/9 rate. He was also great at keeping the ball on the ground. His 49.2% GB% was the 10th highest among Pirates’ minor league arms with 40+ frames tossed. But he also had a 5.51 ERA and 11% walk rate. In Samaniego’s defense, some of this can be chalked up to bad luck, and a poor final eight innings to the season. The lefty reliever got no help from his defense and had a .392 BABIP, the 40th highest clip among the 1882 minor league pitchers with 40+ innings pitched in 2023. Over his last eight innings of the ‘23 season, he handed out nine walks, which made up over 39% of the total free passes he allowed all year.
Samaniego sits around the mid-90s with his sinker and throws a good slider to go along with that. He’ll also occasionally mix in a changeup. The southpaw’s command has looked increasingly better, and even though his walk rate wasn’t great, you once again have to factor in that final month where he struggled. Prior to his nine walks in eight innings, Samaneigo had a quality 8.3% walk rate. Samaniego could be a potential future higher-leverage type pitcher.