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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sammy Siani Off to a Hot Start, Fueled By Elite Swing Decisions

It’s only been seven games, but there are some things to like about the start to the season for Greensboro outfielder Sammy Siani.

The Pirates drafted Siani 37th overall in 2019, paying him a $2.15 million bonus to sign him away from Duke. He went to Low-A Bradenton in 2021, hitting for a .215/.376/.390 line, and showing some promise in his first full season.

Going into the season, I talked with Greensboro manager Callix Crabbe about Siani, and the low average that held back his power and on-base abilities last year.

“Siani really does a good job controlling the strike zone,” said Crabbe. “Elite swing decisions. Still working through some contact stuff with him. The big thing with him moving forward is to be aggressive.”

Siani had a 20.2% walk rate last year in Bradenton, paired with a 24.4% strikeout rate. He has a strong eye and power potential, with some risk of him being too selective at the plate — a common problem for younger players passing up a hit to wait for a possible home run.

The Pirates want Siani to avoid getting behind in the count by executing his swing more often. It seems he’s done that so far. In his first seven games of 2022, Siani has a .296/.457/.519 line in 35 plate appearances. His walk rate is up to 22.9% and his strikeout rate is only slightly up to 25.7%. That also comes with a jump in power, with his isolated power going from .175 to .222.

These are the types of results the Pirates will hope that Siani can replicate the rest of the season. He’s a good defender, capable of playing center field, and getting work at all three spots so far this year. He’s got some power potential from a smaller 5′ 10″, 195 pound lefty-hitting frame. That comes from a quick bat and those elite swing decisions that Crabbe mentioned.

The most encouraging thing is that Siani’s two home runs and his early offensive production has come mostly away from the hitter-friendly home park in Greensboro. If he can get more aggressive with his approach and make more contact, without sacrificing power or plate patience, then Siani should be able to hit in any park he wants.


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Sammy Siani Off to a Hot Start, Fueled By Elite Swing Decisions

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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.


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