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.
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.
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.
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
Pirates Prospects Daily Articles
- Pirates Place Wil Crowe on Injured List
- P2Daily: Pirates Have Plenty Of Dual Threat Upside In System
Song of the Day
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.