Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Players Set to Benefit From a Full Season

Bishop Eustace's Anthony Solometo delivers a pitch during Bishop Eustace's 2-0 victory over Ocean
Bishop Eustace's Anthony Solometo delivers a pitch during Bishop Eustace's 2-0 victory over Ocean / Chris LaChall/Courier-Post via Imagn
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Anthony Solometo

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Anthony Solometo in the second round of the draft in 2021. Although Solometo was selected outside the first round, many mock drafts projected him as a first-round pick. MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo had him going 27th overall to the San Diego Padres; however, both Mayo and Jim Callis mentioned him as a potential target for the Toronto Blue Jays with the 19th pick. But Solometo fell because of signability, and the Pirates landed him on an over-slot deal.

While the talented southpaw has yet to play a full season, his first showing as a professional ball player couldn't have gone better. It was a small sample size of 47.2 innings, but Solometo worked to a 2.64 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 1.05 WHIP. He also had a ground ball rate above 50% at 50.9% and didn't allow a single home run. Solometo struck out 27.1% of opponents faced, and the only downside was his 10.1% walk rate.

Solometo isn't a flamethrower, averaging out in the lower-90s, but all of his stuff plays up for two reasons. Solometo locates his stuff very well. He has pin-point command and hits his spots very often. Not only can he locate it well, but he does it with an extremely unconventional wind-up and delivery. It's a mix between Madison Bumgarner with Dontrell Willis' arm slot, adding a ton of deception. He also throws a nasty slider with a decent change-up.

It's not that bold to say that Solometo could be a top-100 prospect by the end of the 2023 season. Give him a full year to show what he can do, and he'll be among the best minor league prospects. Solometo has a ton going for him next season. He could end up as one of, if not the Pirates' best pitching prospect by the end of the year.