Anthony Solometo: High Changeup Usage Highlights Debut

The Pittsburgh Pirates invested heavily into high-upside prep players early in the 2021 draft, one of which was Anthony Solometo. After none of them started the year in full-season ball, Solometo was the first to get the call, making his debut this past Friday.


The first thing that stands out with Solometo is the delivery, and it’s something that has been broken down extensively on this site. There were concerns about whether he’d be able to repeat his delivery at the next level enough to have consistent control at the professional level.

Aside from the four-pitch walk, which just as easily been nerves than any control issues, Solometo did just fine with his command. The lefty threw 60% of his pitches for strikes and walked two in three innings.

If there is going to be one thing to watch is how his delivery affects the run game. The long delivery allowed Fort Myers to be super aggressive on the base paths, resulting in four stolen bases in the first inning alone.


Based on Baseball Savant’s statcast, Solometo threw three pitches — A sinker, slider and changeup.

His sinker averaged 91.8-mph, showed some decent spin (2313 rpm), and had a 20% whiff rate. The slider generated the highest whiff rate of his pitches at 25% and averaged 85.4-mph with 2439-rpm of spin. It was also the pitch he used the least at just 16.67% of the time.

For any prep player, the development of a third pitch is usually the biggest adjustment in the pro game. While not always the case, that pitch tends to be a changeup. At the high school level, a lot of players don’t always need the pitch, so they don’t really throw it.

That wasn’t necessarily the case for Solometo, as the changeup was his main offering on the day.

Solometo threw the change-up 56.6% of the time, with an average velocity of 87.8-mph, there isn’t too much a speed difference between it and his fastball, but it’s obviously a pitch in the early stages of development.

Final Impressions

Overall, there wasn’t too much you could ask for from a 19-year-old making his debut. Last Friday was about getting his feet wet and really seeing how the pro-game operates. It’s a sentiment that Bradenton Manager Jonathan Johnston shared.

“It’s his first outing, and it was obviously exciting for him,” Johnston told Pirates Prospects. “Getting used to being under the lights for the first time, it’s a good experience for him.”

Solometo’s first inning was extended by a fair number of pitches after an error by Jase Bowen at third base, but it was an opportunity to work around things when something out of your control impacts the game.

After allowing a hit and a walk after the error, Solometo quieted down and was able to close out the last two innings with giving up a run.

“I think things sped up on him after that. He expected to be out of the inning after that ground ball to third,” Johnston said. “They took advantage of him on the bases a little bit, so he’s going to have to learn from that. He was able to command the strike zone, get a lot of ground balls, and I think he’s going to continue to do that. I have high hopes for him going forward.”


Williams: The Growing Pains of Single-A

Carlos Jimenez Has Emerged As One of the Pirates’ Best Lower Level Pitching Prospects

Anthony Solometo: High Changeup Usage Highlights Debut

Bradenton Statcast: Who Is Hitting The Ball Well?

Tsung-Che Cheng: “He’s the type of guy who has an elite level of focus, an elite level of drive”

Joelvis Del Rosario is Starting to Make a Name For Himself

Brenden Dixon: Approach Leading To Success As Bradenton’s Table Setter

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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This kid is going to be good. Adding a few mph to the FB with his deception and movement will make him a real problem. If he is a sign of what’s to come from these hs kids, we will have a real talent emerging in the lower minors this season


glad the changeup seems to be a big thing theyre forcing. I know that the lack of the changeup was the main ding against him in the draft reports. His FB and Slider both had plus grades, and fangraphs didnt even bother grading a third pitch for him.

if he can somehow manage a 45 changeup, it probably puts him into top 100s sooner or later

Last edited 9 months ago by jaygray007

There’s a shit-ton of prospects out there with two plus pitches and a fringey third…


figure the good command grades could be a separator, but who knows what the command will do over the next few years.


But not nearly as many who have a sweet funky delivery like Tony Sol…


And they become relievers, for the most part. Not a great plan for someone with Solometo’s delivery.


Solometo looks like the rare prospect with an actual chance to just fly through pirates minor league system. Guy puts a lot of work into his career plan and executes.


Hope you are right. BTW, does anybody coach catchers at this level? The kid kept jerking pitches back into the strike zone. That’s unframing. Quiet glove is framing.

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