Toronto Blue Jays: Draft Targets Final Edition- Pitchers
The college baseball season is nearing its end and that means that the MLB Draft is right around the corner. The Blue Jays are going to have a fantastic opportunity to add a talented prospect to their farm system with the 19th pick due to the depth of this draft class.
With that in mind, I decided to take a look at some more draft prospects and put out my final Blue Jays Draft Targets article, highlighting some players who may be candidates for the Jays to select this July. If you missed either of the first two draft targets pieces on either the pitchers or position players, make sure to check them out to get all the information you will need heading into the draft. With that being said, let’s jump and in take a look at some potential future Blue Jays.
Anthony Solometo LHP Bishop Eustace (NJ) #20 On MLB Pipeline
During his time in Toronto, GM Ross Atkins has leaned towards college talent when selecting in the first round, with only one of his first five opening round selections being a high school player in the form of Jordan Groshans back in 2018. You have to go all the way back to 2013 to find the last time the Jays selected a prep pitcher in the first round, when GM Alex Anthopoulos made Phillip Bickford the 10th overall pick, though he did not sign.
According to many mock drafts, including MLB Pipeline’s last two editions, New Jersey’s Anthony Solometo has a real chance to break the Blue Jays’ recent trend and become the first high school arm they select in the opening round of the MLB draft in over eight years.
Solometo is a super intriguing prospect. The first traits that immediately jump out while watching his tape are his unique mechanics and plus size. The New Jersey native may have the most interesting delivery I’ve ever seen. Solometo has a huge leg kick, a lot of hand movement and throws from a three quarter arm slot (video of his mechanics linked if you want to check it out). This creates a ton of deception and gives his fastball, which sits in the low to mid 90’s, a little extra life, making it appear a couple miles per hour faster.
Solometo also has a projectable build, standing at 6’5” with great length, leaving scouts to believe that there is more velocity to be tapped into once he grows into his body. Though the left-hander’s heater only resided in the low to mid 90’s, he has advanced command of the pitch and is able to attack both sides of the plate with it, “allowing him to work inside to both righty’s and lefty’s”, which creates a super uncomfortable at bat for hitters.
The Jersey native’s secondary offerings are not as advanced as his fastball and will need to be polished if he is going to fully tap into his potential. Solometo has a slider that has received plus grades before, but can be inconsistent at times as it can get “slurvy” and won’t break as sharp as a true slider, which has lead some evaluators to question its swing and miss potential.
Along with polishing his slider, Solometo will have to add a third pitch if he wants to remain a starter. He possesses a changeup that has improved over the course of his career, but it is considered to be an average pitch at best at the moment and will have to be tweaked once he turns pro.
Overall, Anthony Solometo is a high school arm who has flown up draft boards recently because of his build and the potential that scouts see due to his height, length and untapped velocity from the left side. The New Jersey native is the 20th ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline’s board and will probably hear his name called around this mark as well.
I personally have other prep arms such as Andrew Painter, Chase Petty, and Ben Kudrna, ranked ahead of Solometo, as I feel that they have better tools and are more polished than the lefty. However, if Solometo is willing to sign for a below value bonus, then he could be an intriguing addition to a Jays’ farm system that lacks left-handed pitching, while giving them more financial flexibility later in the draft.