The New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series powered by Program 15 Sports was proud to help send four players to the big leagues over the last two seasons, starting with Bo Naylor debuting late in the 2022 season, who was joined by Tyler Soderstrom, Grayson Rodriguez and Kyren Paris last year.
The ball is rolling, and the next wave of FSS alumni set to make their major-league debuts are making their case.
LHP Anthony Solometo, Pittsburgh Pirates (Highest Level: AA)
Solometo first burst onto the scene with the Future Stars Series as a member of Zoom Baseball Academy the 2019 National Tournaments, then held in Cypress, Texas. With a unique delivery, the lanky southpaw stood out right away, but showed he was more than just a fun visual; he turned in a big performance that year, one in which the development staff took notice not only of an impressive three-pitch mix, but also his mental approach on the mound, leading to Solometo earning an invite to International Week in 2020 to get a chance to pitch at Fenway Park despite being relatively unknown at the time.
It was there where he turned in arguably the best pitching performance in the history of the event — only Daniel Espino in 2018 could be comparable — in which he struck out nine in three innings, including whiffs of future high draft picks like Cam Collier, Ryan Spikes and Roc Riggio.
Solometo helped parlay that big summer into being taken No. 37 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021, signed for a well-over slot $2.8 million bonus as the first player taken in the second round that ultimately got him out of a commitment to the University of North Carolina. He largely hasn’t looked back since.
Making his pro debut in 2022, he dominated the Florida State League to the tune of a 5-1 record and 2.64 ERA in 13 appearances with Bradenton (eight starts) in which he struck out 51 batters in just 47 2/3 innings of work. It was more of the same last season, where he maintained a pace of over one strikeout per inning, racking up 118 of them in 110 1/3 frames that were split between High-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona, where he made a much-anticipated debut in mid-June.
Still just 20 years old, the six-foot-five, 220-pound southpaw could potentially start next season back in Double-A or even open up in Triple-A, but either way, a big-league arrival in Pittsburgh in 2024 is very much so within the realm of possibility.
First Double-A batter for Anthony Solometo?
You guessed it… pic.twitter.com/X9mJ7ijYwE
— Mike Ashmore (@mashmore98) June 17, 2023
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