This is one in a series of stories breaking down PBN’s Top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects.
Zander Mueth is among the newest Pittsburgh Pirates prospects. He was selected with the 62nd overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.
Hailing from Belleville East High School in Illinois, Mueth forwent his college commitment to the University of Mississippi to sign with the Pirates. He was given a signing bonus of nearly $1.8 million, which was an over-slot agreement of around $650,000.
In his senior year of high school, Mueth posted a 3.38 ERA and struck out 62 batters in 37.1 innings pitched. The 18-year-old is athletic. In addition to baseball, he played basketball, soccer and track growing up.
MLB Pipeline considered the 6-foot-6 right-hander the 83rd-best prospect in the 2023 draft class and drew comparisons to Boston Red Sox right-hander Tanner Houck.
Mueth already has two above-average offerings in his fastball and his slider. His fastball has touched as high as 97 mph and comes with good movement. His slider, meanwhile, sits in the low 80s and has a ton of break to it.
In addition to those two pitches, Mueth also has a changeup in his arsenal. Though it’s not as advanced as either his fastball or slider, it’s still a capable offering with room for improvement.
One element to his game that scouts really like is his deception. Mueth operates out of a three-quarters arm slot in an untraditional delivery that keeps hitters on their toes.
The young righty didn’t make a professional appearance in the organization after being selected in the draft, so he’s in line to make his first pro appearance next season.
Mueth gives the Pirates a promising pitching prospect in the lower levels of the minor leagues. A majority of the Pirates top pitching prospects such as Paul Skenes, Jared Jones, Anthony Solometo and Bubba Chandler, have climbed the ranks and are only a step or two away from reaching the big leagues.