Astros Prospect Review: RHP Peter Solomon
By James Wehr
Hailing from one of the most star-laden high schools, Peter Solomon shows promise in an already deep Astros’ farm system.
When you look up Mount St. Joseph High School alumni online, you’ll discover a rather interesting list of prolific athletes throughout the years. Among these players, you will find the likes of, Mark Teixeira, Gavin Floyd, and Steve Clevenger. Peter Solomon, looks to have his name enshrined with these stars, as he paves his own path with the Astros.
Astros Prospect # 27: Peter Solomon – Pitcher (Quad City River Bandits – High A Affiliate)
The Early Years:
Coming in at 6’4″, the right-hander has always been familiar with the limelight. For example, he made waves in high school, posting a sparkling 1.76 ERA in 53 innings, along with 85 strikeouts in his senior year.
Add in the fact that he had 29 consecutive shutout innings, Solomon was riding high. Perfect Game rated him as the seventh overall Maryland prospect, and the number two right-hander out of the state. He also garnered First Team All-Metro Honors by the Baltimore Sun and was named MVP of the President’s Cup Showcase that was held in Camden Yards. The Orioles even invited him to play summer ball for their scout team.
Draft experts were indicating that he would be drafted very high in the draft. However, academia meant more to Solomon, as he was dead set on attending Notre Dame. The Padres took a chance and drafted him in the 21st round of the 2014 Draft. He ultimately declined.
Notre Dame / Cape Cod:
In his first year at Notre Dame, he came out of the gate fast and furious. Earning his first win with a perfect appearance against SIU Edwardsville, fanning three in two and two-thirds innings. His best game coming against, then, number 8 Louisville. Going seven innings of one-run ball. Notre Dame also utilized him out of the pen, where he earned four saves, most notably against Clemson, striking out three in 1 2/3 innings.
A shoulder injury ended, an otherwise stunning freshman campaign, limiting Solomon to only 19 innings across the board striking out 19 and accruing a 2-0 record, with four saves and a 1.40 ERA.
His sophomore season, he came back, but noticeably not the same. With the shoulder injury still lingering, he finished with a 3-6 record and a 4.68 ERA in 18 appearances. Solomon, however, did lead the team with 71 strikeouts.
After the end of the 2016 Collegiate season, he opted to pitch in the Cape Cod league. The old Peter Solomon showed up, as he posted an astounding 0.54 ERA in 33 innings.
As Solomon was sharpening his skills in the Cape Cod League, draft experts were taking notice. A few things stood out to them, mainly being his inability to find the strike zone in his sophomore and junior seasons. Among his stellar numbers, he did post an average of 5.3 walks per nine innings.
Ultimately, he was ranked as the 69th best prospect coming into the draft. Many questioned if he could hold up with the demands of a starter in the majors, opting to predict he will stay in the pen. This lead to some saying he could quietly find himself in the first round if a team deemed him a top of the rotation option.
He ended up slipping to the Astros in the fourth round, and the Astros were more than excited to snatch him there.
Buies Creek / Quad Cities, Astros A+/A Affiliates:
In his first taste of professional baseball, Solomon started three games for the Buies Creek Astros, and two games out of the pen, posting a 1.96 ERA and 26 strikeouts over 23 innings. Seeing the production, the Astros shipped him up to Quad Cities where Peter finished his first year. He started 10 of the 19 games he appeared in, posting a 2.43 ERA and 88 strike-outs over 77.2 innings.
An interesting factoid, he helped the Quad City River Bandits set a new Midwest League record in strikeouts with 1,514.
It’s tough to say what awaits Solomon. On the one hand, he could be a quality mid-rotation arm, just like Lance McCullers Jr. Solomons’ fastball sits at 92-96 mph, and he has a very good changeup that sinks, keeping lefties honest. He also has a curveball and slider combo that ranks out as above average. However, he could be a viable weapon out of the pen, especially with the strikeout numbers, it reminds me of Chad Green or Chris Devenski.
Ceiling Player Projection: Lance McCullers Jr.
Floor Player Projection: Chris Devenski
As for me, I believe he is best out of the pen, whether it be a set-up man or a closer. Regardless of what he becomes, Astros fans and brass has an arm they can count on in the future.