The Pittsburgh Pirates hope that the final draft that former general manager Neal Huntington spearheaded will be fruitful. Currently, it is headlined by first-round draft pick Quinn Priester, who looks to be a legitimate candidate to be a future ace for the Pirates.
The team is hoping that their second-round pick is also a major part of their future. Sammy Siani was drafted by the Pirates in the second round of last year’s draft with the 37th overall selection.
The team signed him to a $2.15 million deal, the second-largest bonus the Pirates have ever given to a player not selected in the first round of the draft. Their willingness to pay Siani that kind of bonus is a testament to how strongly they believe in his abilities.
Selected out of William Penn Charter School in Glenside, Pennsylvania, Siani posted a .457 batting average, 25 runs batted in and 16 stolen bases in his senior year of high school. The strong performance led him to be ranked as one of the top high school position players in the draft.
Sammy’s second-round selection would end up being two rounds higher than his brother Mike was selected a year prior by the Cincinnati Reds. There clearly is an excellent baseball pedigree within the Siani family.
Sammy Siani originally committed to play baseball at Duke University, but ultimately decided to forgo his collegiate career following the Pirates selecting him in the second round of the 2019 draft.
The 6’1” and 195-pound centerfielder was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Pirates after he signed his contract with Pittsburgh. There he would play in 39 games hitting for a .241 batting average, with zero home runs, three doubles, nine runs batted in, 29 runs scored and five stolen bases in 133 at-bats as the leadoff hitter.
It is important to remember that despite the lower batting average and lack of power, Siani was transitioning from high school baseball to professional baseball, which means he had to transition from an aluminum bat to a wooden bat in addition to facing a significant upgrade in talent.
Siani has a smaller frame currently but has room to add mass. If he can put on additional mass and strength as most scouts predict, then his easy swing and good bat speed project him to have plus power in the future.
The hit tool for Siani is his biggest strength. He possesses excellent plate discipline and barrels the ball well. In addition, he has above-average speed and is a smart base runner, which has led to decent stolen base totals.
On a scale of 20 to 80 with 50 being average, Siani has a hit rating of 50, a power rating of 50, a speed rating of 55, a fielding rating of 50 and a throwing rating of 40. Outside of his arm strength, all of his other tools are projected to be average or better.
Despite currently playing centerfield, most experts project that Siani projects more as a left-field prospect in the future. Currently the eighth-ranked prospect in the Pirates system, Siani is expected to be in the major leagues in 2024.
Siani is projected to begin the season with the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Low-A affiliate of the Pirates. It will be worth monitoring how he performs in his first full season of professional baseball.