Pirates Prospect Watch: Live Look at Anthony Solometo in Altoona

ALTOONA, PA – Paul Skenes pitches for Altoona later today, and to be honest, that’s kind of a bonus for me during this trip. My main focus on this trip was getting a chance to see Anthony Solometo live for the first time in 15 months, which I did on Friday night. The results were impressive, which you can read about and watch below.

Player of the Day


Priester pitched five innings out of the bullpen last night, entering the game after Max Kranick and Kyle Nicolas combined to pitch four shutout innings. Priester allowed one run on a walk and two hits, and struck out nine batters. Kranick and Nicolas combined for seven strikeouts, so this was a free swinging team. The positive sign for Priester is that this was his second outing in Triple-A with an increased strikeout rate. He now has 15 strikeouts and four walks in nine innings since being sent down.

Ten More to Follow


Kranick made his first appearance back in Triple-A, going 2.2 shutout innings in a start on Friday night. He allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out four. This was his third rehab appearance since Tommy John, after pitching two games in Bradenton.


Last night was my first time watching Anthony Solometo since last May in Bradenton. The lefty was impressive, going five innings with two runs on two hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. The two runs came in the fifth inning on a home run.

With two outs, Solometo had a battle on a 3-2 count to his third batter of the inning. He threw four pitches, which were fouled off. Finally, he walked the batter on an 84 MPH slider, taken outside. The next batter a lefty, saw an 82 MPH slider for a ball. He then hit a two run shot on a 90 MPH fastball.

Solometo was wild to the next batter, walking him on five pitches, starting with a 91 MPH fastball high and outside to the right-hander, before walking him on an 84 MPH slider low and inside. He had a mound visit to calm him down. He started the next at-bat with a great pickoff move to first, which would have caught the runner had he not thrown wild. Matt Gorski was at first base, not his usual position, and couldn’t field it. Solometo handled the final batter, getting four swings on his slider, including a strikeout on an 84 inside.

Overall, I liked how Solometo dominated most of the outing, but also how he quickly recovered after a brief lapse of command with his pitches.

Below is a look at Solometo’s third inning of work, when he struck out two batters. He was mostly 89-92, and hit 92 on the second pitch to the second batter in the video below, followed by a low 84 MPH slider for the swinging strike. All of the fastballs against the third batter were 91, with another swinging strikeout to end it. Also, there’s the delivery…


You won’t see this in the home run video below, but I like the pre-pitch routine from Gorski. Most hitters at this level step into the box and wait for the pitcher. They wait for the pitcher to get set. Then, they wait for the pitch. Gorski is more relaxed, with a rhythm that he holds until the pitcher gets set. That’s when he gets set. The only other hitters in Altoona who I’ve seen this year with the same tendencies were Henry Davis and Liover Peguero. This is a power mentality. These players aren’t stepping into the box and getting locked in right away, and holding for as long as it takes the pitcher to get set and deliver. They wait on the pitcher to make his move, then they move. Gorski, of course, brings the power, as shown by his 16th homer last night, with the video below.


Continuing the discussion of Gorski, I don’t think it’s a bad thing if players get in and stay set right away. Jackson Glenn is an example of someone who is set almost the entire at-bat. He steps in the box, gets in line with the pitcher, and he’s ready. At most, he’ll take one step out of the box, before getting ready for the next pitch. Glenn has a good line drive stroke, hitting a triple to the wall last night.


I got to see Massey throw three innings last week. He gave up one run on one hit, but didn’t walk anyone and struck out four. He carried that success over to this week. On Friday, he allowed an unearned run on one hit, with no walks and five strikeouts. I’ll have a feature on Massey in the upcoming days. Check out my report from last week on his stuff, plus a video of him in action.


Gonzalez picked up two hits and a walk on Friday. He now has a six game hitting streak. More impressive, he’s got a streak of 21 straight games where he’s reached base safely, dating back to an 0-for-5 performance on July 28th. He’s batting .317/.423/.443 in 99 plate appearances during this stretch.


Dotel has been a surprise out of the Bradenton rotation this year. The 20-year-old right-hander has a 2.97 ERA in 69.2 innings, with a 52:39 K/BB. He went five shutout innings on Friday, allowing three hits, five walks, and striking out four.


McAdoo went 1-for-3 with two walks. He’s now batting .361/.458/.574 in the start of his pro career, after being taken in the 13th round last year. Those numbers are inflated by a big first week in the system. He’s hit for a .244/.359/.378 line since his six hit game on August 4th, though these numbers are deflated due to struggles over the last week. We don’t know the middle ground yet for McAdoo. That said, even with the recent struggles, McAdoo still gets on base. He has reached base safely in 14 of 16 games.


The Pirates added Lobo for Hoy Park last year. He made his debut in the system this year, posting a 1.62 ERA in 16.2 innings, with a 17:6 K/BB. Those are similar results to his pre-trade numbers with Boston last year. He went four innings in the DSL quarterfinals, allowing one run on three hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts, leading the Pirates to a series win, advancing them to the semi-finals next week.


Machado was signed in September 2020. He returned to the DSL for his third season, putting up a .291/.483/.441 line in 127 at-bats this year. He showed more power this year, with three doubles, five triples, and two homers — compared to just one triple as his lone extra base hit last year. He also stole 29 bases in 36 attempts. Machado went 2-for-4 on Friday, knocking in two runs with a triple to give the Pirates the late inning lead.

Friday’s Home Runs

  • Matt Gorski, 1B, Altoona (16)
  • Joe Perez, RF, Altoona (5)

Friday’s Minor League Results


Score: Indianapolis 2, Iowa 1
Indianapolis Starter: Max Kranick, RHP (0.00)
–Line: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Quinn Priester, RHP (5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 0 HR)
Attendance: 9,990

Notable Performers

  • Kyle Nicolas, RHP (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K)
  • Jared Triolo, 2B (1-for-3, BB)
  • Grant Koch, C (1-for-3, 3B)

ALTOONA (55-60) VS Akron

Score: Akron 5, Altoona 4
Altoona Starter: Anthony Solometo, LHP (4.33)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Matt Gorski, 1B (1-for-4, HR [16], 3 RBI)
Attendance: 4,289

Notable Performers

  • Joe Perez, RF (1-for-3, BB, HR [5])
  • Chavez Young, CF 1-for-3, BB, 2B, SB)

GREENSBORO (62-50) AT Rome

Score: Greensboro 4, Rome 1
Greensboro Starter: J.P. Massey, RHP (3.81)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Massey
Attendance: 1,160

Notable Performers

  • Ryan Harbin, RHP (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
  • Dante Mendoza, RHP (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K)
  • Tres Gonzalez, CF (2-for-4, BB)
  • Josiah Sightler, 1B (2-for-5, RBI)

BRADENTON (67-50) AT Jupiter

Score: Bradenton 5, Jupiter 0
Bradenton Starter: Wilber Dotel, RHP (2.97)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Dotel
Attendance: 379

Notable Performers

  • Charles McAdoo, LF (1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB)
  • Omar Alfonzo, 1B (2-for-4, BB, 2 RBI)
  • Yoldin De La Paz, LHP (3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K)

DSL PIRATES GOLD (2-0) VS DSL Astros Orange

Score: Pirates 5, Astros 3
Pirates Gold Starter: Inmer Lobo, LHP (2.25)
–Line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Juan Machado, LF (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, SB)

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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I see the Pirates are going with an opener more in the major leagues. Does that have anything to do with why Priester came in relief last night?


The Pirates rotation is in absolute shambles which is why we are using it at the ML level. Who knows what the hell they are thinking in the minors. It all seems random most of the time. Did the same with Contreras the other day. I see the value of using the “off handed” pitcher to start, getting immediately the best part of the lineup 1 AB at the beginning of the game against their strengths, but that only works when the reliever is competent. The only time you use an opener should be a righty against a right dominated lineup or a lefty against a left dominated lineup, then following with the opposite handed pitcher. Downside is if that reliever struggles, you are pretty much locked in to him finishing that inning, and then the real starter comes in being down already. Its a double edged sword.


My problems with teams thinking they are using analytics (especially lefty-righty) is they often have a pre-determined plan and ignore the obvious stat. The obvious being if the pitcher has good stuff, keep him in the game. If he doesn’t, then take him out. Not to even mention, the psychological part of the game.
Three examples.
Last Sunday, former starter Borucki began the game with 2 perfect innings on 19 pitches. Last night former starter Selby had 2 perfect innings and 3 strike-outs on 25 pitches. IMO, they each should have been out there at least another inning. Keller had a shut-out after 8 innings on only 93 pitches Friday night. I think he also earned the right to go out there for the 9th. Instead they threw Bednar for the 3rd game in 4 days.


They aren’t trained to be out there more than 2 innings from a body and arm health perspective. This isn’t about analytics, its about personnel usage. Relief pitchers rarely are even capable of coming out after a 1/2 inning let alone 2 or more. These guys generally never pitch more than 25 pitches…..and haven’t for YEARS. Even starting pitchers whom have done it their entire lives need 5-6 outings during the spring to get ready to pitch 90-100 pitches, for a lifetime reliever that would be much much longer. Its a different training regimen entirely.


From my 3 examples, you are probably right on Selby. Even though he has been a starter in previous years, this year he has been strictly in the bullpen. Only 2 of his major league games this year has he pitched more than 25 pitches, including one game with 35 pitches.
Borucki on the other hand has pitched over 19 pitches 6 times this year, including 33 pitches one game.
Keller has pitched over 93 pitches 15 times this year. Personally, I think there is a bigger risk on Bednar pitching the 3rd game in 4 days then I think it would be on Keller to go over 93 pitches.


I was strictly referring to you wanting openers (relief pitchers) to go longer than 2 innings, not Keller. I have no problem with starters going 110-115 pitches if they are sharp and its been low stress pitches for the most part. That’s their job

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