If Chandler has the most to gain of any Pirate prospect this season, then Anthony Solometo isn’t too far behind. Like Chandler, Solometo was considered one of the better prospects in the draft. According to MLB Pipeline, Solometo was the second-best LHP at no. 17, just behind Jordan Wicks, who was no. 16. Overall, he was the 7th best pitcher.
Solometo made a strong first impression, working to a 2.64 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 1.05 WHIP in 47.2 innings. The southpaw struck out 27.1% of the batters he faced, and (more impressively) didn’t allow a single home run. His 10.1% walk rate wasn’t all that great, but he located his stuff well. Solometo’s first two games of 2023 have been mixed. In his first outing, he allowed just one earned run in four innings, struck out five, and didn’t allow a walk. In his second start, Solometo allowed four earned runs with a 3:4 K:BB ratio in 3.2 innings.
Solometo is a soft-tosser, only averaging out at 89-93 MPH. He also throws a slider with cutter-like action. Both his slider and fastball sit with a well above-average spin. While his four-seamer and slider may have a high spin rate, his change-up has an extremely low spin, and he is gaining confidence with the pitch.
There are two reasons all of Solometo’s stuff plays up. The first thing is he locates his stuff with pinpoint accuracy. He hits his spots better than nearly all of the Pirates’ other prospects. He also has a wicked delivery. He has a high leg kick with an arm slot reminiscent of Madison Bumgarner. It’s a mix between Mackenzie Gore, Madison Bumgarner, and Dontrell Willis.
Again, there’s a lot that Solometo can gain from a full campaign. Had it not been for his commitment to North Carolina, Solometo may have gone in the first half of the draft, along with Chandler. Many evaluators, specifically FanGraphs, haven’t put him in a bright light because of his lack of velocity, but he certainly has all the assets to make up for below average velo.