The Pirates selected Zander Mueth in the 4th round of the 2023 draft. Mueth was barely 18 when they picked him; his birthday is June 22nd. That also made him one of the youngest players in the draft. However, although raw, Mueth has a lot of qualities that could make him a top-100 prospect in a few years.
Mueth is already throwing pretty hard. He is sitting 92-94 MPH and topping out at 97 already. He does that while throwing from a pretty low arm slot that MLB Pipeline compares to Tanner Houck, who receives comparisons to Chris Sale. Not only does his fastball have good velocity already, but sinking action, too, so it’s not just a straight-line pitch that will need improving.
Mueth’s slider has plus potential. It’s a sweeping that comes in the low 80s. Mueth throws his slider with so much movement he can have a hard time landing it in the strike zone. That could be a good or bad thing, depending on the viewpoint you want to take. Mueth does throw a changeup, but it will need some improvement. He throws it in the low-90s, though with a similar movement to his four-seamer.
The young righty has some projectability as well. He is 6’6”, 205 pounds. Going back to the Tanner Houck comparison, the Red Sox right-hander stands at a similar height at 6’5” but is heavier at 225 pounds. If Mueth can add some muscle, he might also be able to maintain a higher velocity. Maybe he sits closer to 93-95 MPH and tops out at 98.
Mueth is an improved change-up and command away from being a potential future starting pitcher. At his young age, it’s still very possible he can improve his change-up and improve his ability to locate more efficiently and effectively. Adding any velocity, which, again, because of his age, is still very likely, will only make his stuff better. Because of that, I think it’s quite possible that Mueth becomes a top 100 prospect.