High-A Greensboro - LHP Anthony Solometo
It was a very close race between Anthony Solometo and Bubba Chandler here. However, I ultimately decided to go with Solometo, given he has a better chance of starting at Greensboro than Chandler, based on how much they pitched for Bradenton last season. Solometo was the Pirates’ second-round selection in 2021. The southpaw was considered a top-20 talent in the draft but fell because of his college commitment.
Solometo pitched a total of 47.1 innings for the Marauders, working to a 2.64 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 1.08 WHIP. The southpaw struck out over a quarter of the batters he faced with a 27.1% strikeout rate while not allowing a single home run. Solometo’s ground ball rate peaked at just over 50% at 50.9%. His 10.1% walk rate might not be great, but it doesn’t reflect how good he is at locating.
Solometo is the Pirates’ best pitcher when it comes to command. He was also considered the second-best command pitcher in the 2021 draft. Solometo typically works in the 88-91 MPH range with a slider, slurve, and changeup. His offerings project from average to well above average, given his command, but he can easily throw opponents off. He has a wind-up, delivery, and arm slot that is reminiscent of Washington Nationals’ top prospect Mackenzie Gore and former San Francisco Giant ace Madison Bumgarner. Personally, I see some Dontrell Willis because of his leg kick.
Solometo is entering just his age-20 campaign. However, there’s a decent chance he at least makes his Double-A debut next season. He might not play a ton of games at Altoona, but if he’s healthy and continues to pitch well, there’s no reason he shouldn’t at least see Altoona for a start or two.
Honorable Mentions: Bubba Chandler