BRADENTON, Fla. – If you’ve read my previous articles on Anthony Solometo, you’d know I’m a huge fan of his funky delivery.
The left-handed pitcher, taken by the Pirates out of high school with their second round pick in 2021, and given nearly $3 million to sign, has a lot of moving parts with his flailing arms and legs moving the ball around pre-pitch.
“A ton of deception,” said Pirates pitching coordinator Josh Hopper. “Everybody who plays catch with him, as soon as he goes to throw it’s like ‘I can’t see it,’ and then it’s on you. What he does is unique, but it also adds to who he is.”
The Pirates are trying to find a balance of helping Solometo continue to develop and make adjustments, without stripping him of his uniqueness. That’s already started with a few minor details to refine.
“For me, the biggest thing I’ve been focusing on now is keeping my back heel down, and my drive leg a lot better when I push off,” said Solometo. “Less of a hop and more of a stride through it and more fluid motion. I’ve been working on little things to make sure I have a lot of power and better power transfer. I’m making sure I’m more consistent through the ball to see better depth and better movement in my pitches.”
Solometo is trying to learn how to make adjustments on the fly, so he’ll know how to get back on track in games. That will help him focus on overall consistency.
The funky delivery benefits from yoga, stretches, and a lot of dry work. Solometo has incorporated better weight lifting into his routine since entering pro ball.
“My body, I feel, is in the best shape it’s been in for a long time, or ever, honestly,” said Solometo. “If I keep that in line with all of my stretches, all of the yoga, everything I do to stay loose, as long as I’m doing towel work and everything, I’m doing dry work, I’m keeping that fluid motion instead of a herky-jerk. That will not only keep my body healthy and keep me safe, but it will also be a recipe for success.”
The Pirates are just looking for Solometo to establish what he does well at this point in his young career. After that, Hopper said they’ve got an eye on a specific pitch focus soon. Until then, they’re seeing how the ball consistently plays.
As with all players, Solometo has the choice to keep the changes he likes, and discard the ones he doesn’t like.
“If it feels good, if I like it, if I feel it’s going to make me a better pitcher, I’ll stick with it,” said Solometo. “And if it’s something that I feel doesn’t make me feel the best, or is something that I don’t really enjoy doing, I’ll talk it through with them and they completely understand. It’s whatever is best for each individual pitcher, which I think is the best part of this program.”
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
Henry Davis is Already Acting Like a Leader on Day One of Spring Training
The Pirates Are Giving Bubba Chandler Work as a Two-Way Player
Anthony Solometo Looking to Make Funky Delivery More Fluid
The Best Pittsburgh Pirates from the Dominican Summer League
Demographics of the Pirates’ Prospects Over the Years: How They Were Acquired
Brennan Malone is Showing a Confidence Surge
Bear Bellomy: Matchup Oriented Approach Brings Positive Results
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.