Anthony Solometo – LHP
Bishop Eustace High
Another prospect tied to the Blue Jays organization, multiple journalists are predicting that the club will select high school southpaw Anthony Solometo out of Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Ranked at #17 by MLB.com, Solometo has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s and a slider that gets swings and misses when it is on point. He has a delivery that rivals MacKenzie Gore with the high leg kick and deception towards home plate and is regarded for his ability to command the strike zone, an attribute that goes well for a high school senior. His changeup needs some work in order to be a consistent go-to pitch but that is something the Blue Jays can develop as he progresses through the minor league system.
After a solid campaign at Bishop Eustace High this past year, there is a good chance that Solometo may be gone before the Jays step up to the podium with teams like the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals ahead of them. The left-hander does have a commitment to North Carolina that teams will need to consider before drafting him but something that could easily be fixed when money is on the table.
Adding a high school pitcher is always a risk in that the transition from prep school to professional baseball can be a bit too much, especially if the said player fails to adapt/develop when facing more advanced hitters. Solometo appears to be ready for the jump and still has some potential to grow into his 6’3″ frame, meaning an uptick in velocity could be in the future.
Given his command is considered advanced amongst his high-school counterparts, it will be interesting to see if the Blue Jays choose to go with Solometo with their first pick, with Ross Atkins never selecting a high school pitcher with his first pick since joining Toronto in late 2015. The last time the club selected a high-school pitcher with their first pick was Phil Bickford back in 2013 (again under A.A.), who ended up going to college instead of signing with the Jays.
Three journalists are predicting Solometo the Blue Jays, with Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com stating that the left-hander “seems almost locked in with a team”. While the MLB Draft is always a wild-card, it seems like it is a two-player race at this point as to whether the Jays will select Solometo or OF Jay Allen, with the decision being easier if one is off the board before the team is able to select anybody at #19.