29.8 F
Sunday, December 4, 2022

P2Daily: Pirates Had Success From Middle Round College Pitchers In 2022

There are times where a player enters the season and something just clicks, everything comes together, and they put together a really good year.

Sometimes it’s something that was expected — whether they had the tools and just had to put it together or they’ve struggled to stay healthy. Other times someone really comes out of nowhere. Regardless, seeing a player really put it all together can be really fun to watch, giving you someone else to watch in a system full of prospects.

On the pitching side of things, the Pirates had a few players put things together and you can probably safely say they performed better than what their expectations were going into the season.

Tyler Samaniego

The Pirates were widely considered to have one of the best drafts back in 2021, bringing in names like Henry Davis, Anthony Solometo, and Bubba Chandler. A name that wasn’t brought up was 15th round pick out of South Alabama, Tyler Samaniego.

Samaniego began the year with Greensboro and was lights out before getting promoted to Altoona where he finished the season out. During the month of May, not only did he not allow a run, but Samaniego also didn’t surrender a hit over 10 1/3 innings pitched between High-A and Double-A. He allowed 12 runs, nine of which came in two appearances, in his 24 outings with the Curve.

Overall on the season he posted a 2.45 ERA across two levels, recording 14 saves and striking out 47 batters in 47 2/3 innings.

Nick Garcia

When Garcia was drafted in 2020, he didn’t have much experience on the mound, switching to pitching a couple of years before being selected. So it wouldn’t have been surprising if it took him a while to get things going in his professional career.

All he did was go from college reliever, to among the system’s leaders in innings pitched, strikeouts, and ERA in less than two years. He suffered a bit from pitching in the hitter-friendly Greensboro, but not as bad as some others have in recent history.

In 113 innings for the Grasshoppers in 2022, Garcia struck out 109 while posting a 3.66 ERA across 25 total appearances — 23 of which were starts. Garcia seemed like a guy destined for a bullpen role at the next level, but is slowly starting to transition himself into a potential starter.

Justin Meis

The righty falls almost in the same category as Garcia, college pitchers drafted in the mid-to-later rounds that were probably expected to end up as relievers/depth players.

Meis didn’t get off to the best starts after getting to Greensboro midseason, getting pulled from the game before recording an out. He bounced back and not only finished the season strong. but also posted 14 shutout innings in a single week over two starts. The second of those starts were seven no-hit innings.

By the time it was all said and done, Meis finished in the top five across the system in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Highlight of The Day

Speaking of Samaniego, here’s some highlights from the early part of the 2022 season both with Greensboro and Altoona.

Pirates Prospects Spotlight

Williams: Where Will the Pirates Help Come From in 2023?

Pirates Discussion

Pirates Discussion: Saturday Slip

Pirates Prospects Daily Articles


Williams: Where Will the Pirates Help Come From in 2023?

Johan Oviedo: Secondary Pitches Playing Well With Increased Usage

Termarr Johnson Hit The Ground Running In Professional Debut

Travis MacGregor Overcoming Nearly Three Lost Seasons

David Bednar Graduates From Youth to Leader

What Makes Greensboro So Hitter Friendly?

Ricky DeVito is a Sleeper to Follow in the Pirates System

Anthony Solometo: Lefty Showed Great Approach In First Professional Season

Jared Oliva Shows Off His Hustle With an Inside the Park Homer

The Pirates Catching Depth Has Emerged From Greensboro

Greensboro Grasshoppers Scouting Notes

Justin Meis is Improving His North-South Attack

Watch: Jase Bowen Breaks Down a Seven Pitch Triple

Song of the Day

+ posts

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.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

Related articles

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Like Tyler Samaniego, Justin Meis, and let me add Nick Dombkowski, another College (Hartford) LHP who had VG years in the Cape Cod League before being signed by the Pirates as a Non-Drafted FA in 2021.

Omar Cruz (Musgrove trade) is still a possibility with the Pirates. 62 IP with Altoona this year with a 5.03 ERA, but only 28 Walks and 69 K’s, 9.9/4.0 K/BB/9. Bednar and Endy Rodriguez doing well so far from that trade, with hopes for Hudson Head and Cruz.


Fully aware that Joe threw a no-hitter and has given the Padres two fine seasons, would you trade him for Endy?


I think the trade was fair. Musgrove would have become a FA that the Pirates were not going to pursue, so they tried to cash out early in favor of young prospects with plenty of future MLB Service Time. Bednar has been a success and Endy Rodriguez should be in MLB next year. Cruz could also be ready in 2023, and Head is probably 2 years away.

The Pirates lost 2 years of Musgrove’s service for which he was paid around $13 mil in ARB. He now has a 5 year contract in his home town – glad for him and happy for the return.


Not according to this fine website!


I really like that website, but note that Musgrove doesn’t come with much surplus value because the Padres have signed him to a fair contract whereas we expect to have Endy for 3+ years at roughly the minimum and another 3 years at fractions of what he’d be worth on the open market. In terms of actual wins instead of wins/$, Musgrove would likely be seen as slightly more valuable. However, I’m plenty happy with Rodriguez.


If just one of those three becomes a useful major league pitcher, it would be great!


Addressing just the LHRP’s Tyler Samaniego and my add, Nick Dombkowski both had very good numbers at AA, and the Pirates cannot seem to find LHRP’s on the waiver wire that satisfy. Best this year has probably been Banuelos.

LHSP is wide open and Justin Meis (local boy from Bethel Park) threw 114 innings in 2022 – 71 in A+. I hope he gets bumped to AA to start 2023. He or Omar Cruz could be our next Pirate LHSP.


My issue for dominating LHPs at AA is that, unless they are power arms, it rarely translates to the majors. See Owens, Rudy for that #1 example.

Share article

Latest articles


Latest comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x