Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who could get promoted to A-Ball at the end of the month

The Pirates have a handful of top prospects at the Flordia Complex League who could soon get promoted to A-Ball.
On deck, (FCL) Pirates' outfielder Solomon Maguire. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, July 15, 2022. Admission is free and you can bring your own food. For more up-coming games, check out the schedules of the Florida Complex League visit, mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/minor-leagues.

Sar Fcl Baseball 18
On deck, (FCL) Pirates' outfielder Solomon Maguire. The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, July 15, 2022. Admission is free and you can bring your own food. For more up-coming games, check out the schedules of the Florida Complex League visit, mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/minor-leagues. Sar Fcl Baseball 18 / THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE / USA TODAY
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Zander Mueth

Aside from Paul Skenes, the next best pitching prospect the Pirates took in the 2023 draft was Zander Mueth. Mueth was a high school pick, but he has an extremely high ceiling and has already displayed some of his potential with some good outings in the FCL thus far in 2024. It will be fun to see him get tested at A-Ball if the Pirates choose to promote him.

Mueth has a 1.98 ERA, 3.83 FIP, and 1.32 WHIP through 32.2 innings. He's struck out 24.8% of batters faced, but has avoided giving up the longball entirely. Mueth has a 55.7% ground ball rate, the third-highest among FCL pitchers with 30+ frames. His 30.4% FB% is also one of the lowest, but his command has been a little all over the place; he has a 12.4% walk rate. 

Mueth is young, as he just turned 19 on June 22. Despite his youth, Mueth sits 92-95 MPH and tops out at 97. His sweeping slider has a ton of movement, so much so that he has trouble keeping it in the zone, but he gets a ton of whiffs with it. His changeup has some good vertical action, giving Mueth a chance for two-plus offerings and a third average-to-above-average pitch. Mueth does all of this while throwing sidearm. 

His delivery can get out of sync, which has led to some command issues early on in his pro career. But, given he turned 19 less than a month ago, his command doesn't seem like a huge issue right now. Both Bubba Chandler and Jared Jones also suffered from similar command issues around the same age as Mueth, but look at where they are now.

It's one thing to throw sidearm. It's another thing to throw sidearm and top out at 97. Mueth is an imposing 6'6", 205-pound presence on the mound. There's definitely a chance he throws harder as he matures, learns better mechanics, and adds on some muscle. Mueth is a potential top-100 prospect in the coming years.