This is one in a series of stories breaking down PBN’s Top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects.
Continuing the trend of a number of high-end pitching talents is Anthony Solometo, the top ranked lefty hurler in the Pirates’ system.
Pittsburgh drafted Solometo out of high school in 2021, and while he is still just 20 years old, that didn’t stop him from pitching for the Altoona Curve for half of last season.
Solometo isn’t going to blow anyone away with his low-90s fastball, but it plays faster than the radar gun judges it because of his delivery. It’s hard to accurately describe what his wind-up looks like: the adjective that immediately jumps to mind is ‘lanky’ as he propels his 6-foot-5 frame forward, his long arm looping wide before crashing back toward the plate.
This August, Solometo described his slider, which breaks hard horizontally, as his go-to pitch. Both his fastball and slider received 55-grades on MLB’s prospect ranking scale, which goes between 20 and 80, with his third offering, a changeup, clocking in right behind them at 50.
Solometo tore through South Atlantic League lineups with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the first half of the year, so the Pirates eventually called him up to Altoona in mid-June. After posting a 2.30 ERA in 58.2 innings, Solometo’s numbers took a hit in Double-A to the tune of a 4.35 ERA across 51.2 innings.
As the hitters he faces continue to improve, Anthony Solometo described his need for developing his changeup as a viable third option in order to succeed.
Per MLB’s prospect rankings, Solometo’s big-league ETA is 2025: he’s done an excellent job of climbing through the Pirates’ system so far, but has some things to work on before he is ready for the pros.