Tyler Samaniego

Born: January 30, 1999
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Drafted: Round 15, 433rd Overall, 2021
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of South Alabama
Agent: N/A

The Pirates drafted Samaniego as a senior out of South Alabama.  He was there for two years and pitched strictly in relief.  He only got into four games in the pandemic season, then worked as a closer in 2021.  His ERA of 4.08 looks worse than his other numbers.  He had a 1.13 WHIP and fanned 27 in 17.2 IP, while walking nine.  One report states that he throws 96-97 mph with a slider.  Samaniego spent two years playing in junior college before going to South Alabama, and was mainly a hitter.  Baseball America did not rank him among their top 500 draft prospects, nor among the top 29 prospects in Alabama.

A:  1-0-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 7.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 19.3 K/9

The Pirates sent Samaniego to Bradenton late in the season and he had an impressive debut.  In five relief appearances, he fanned over half the batters he faced.  He also threw three scoreless innings in the Marauders’ three-game playoff sweep.

A+:  1-1-4, 0.53 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 5.8 BB/9, 12.7 K/9
AA:  3-3-10, 3.52 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Samaniego started the season at Greensboro and was almost literally unhittable.  He gave up only three hits in 17 innings, although he did walk a lot of hitters.  After 14 games, the Pirates moved him up to Altoona.  His overall numbers were less impressive, but most of the damage he incurred came in two of his 24 games.  He allowed nine earned runs in just two and a third innings in those games.  In the other 22, his ERA was 0.95.  His WHIP in AA was actually lower than in high A, despite his ERA being nearly seven times higher.  His walk and K rates at the higher level were roughly half what they were at the lower level.  The statistical puzzle didn’t end there.  Samaniego had extremely low, unsustainable BABIPs, .094 at Greensboro and .160 at Altoona.  His strand rate, which was 80% in high A, was a very low 54.1% at Altoona, accounting for the much higher ERA.

There are some eccentricities in Samaniego’s stats so far, but the bottom line is that he’s been very effective.  He could become an option for the Pirates at some point in 2023.

2023: Minor league salary
Signing Bonus: $75,000
MiLB Debut: 2021
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2027
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2024
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
July 13, 2021: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 15th round, 433rd overall pick; signed on July 20.