The Houston Astros selected right-handed pitcher Peter Solomon out of the University of Notre Dame with the 121st pick in the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft. The fourth round pick was already the fourth right-handed pitcher selected by the Astros, as the club has clearly prioritized bolstering their pitching in this year's draft.
Due to the fact that Notre Dame is a "cold-weather" school, not many know about the baseball program up in South Bend, Indiana. Unfortunately, the Fighting Irish did nothing to get back on the radar in 2017, as they finished with a 26-32 record and missed out on the postseason.
However, many Astros fans will be excited to know that Solomon is probably the best pitching prospect to come out of Notre Dame since Jeff Samardzija, who was selected out of Notre Dame by the Cubs in the 5th Round of the 2006 MLB Draft.
The main detail that the Houston Astros fanbase can look forward to with Solomon is that he already stands at six feet, four inches yet has some room for projection left in his frame. If Solomon fills out a little bit and grows an inch or two more, the Astros could have one of the steals of this draft. With a fastball sitting at 92 to 94 MPH with the potential to reach 96 MPH, Solomon already has some major league level velocity to his main pitch.
Along with a quality fastball, Solomon throws a curveball and slider that at times show enough movement to put him in the conversation for a first round pick. Solomon is known by major league scouts to have a lot of movement on most if not all of his pitches, but his problem has been harnessing that movement.
In just 54 innings pitched this season with the Fighting Irish, Solomon walked 28 opposing hitters while striking out 61. This shows that Solomon has the capability of putting away a lot of hitters, but his lack of command forced Notre Dame to move him to the bullpen during the season.
Sometimes, the harnessing of a prospect's pitches simply comes from maturity. This is what the Astros will hope for with Solomon, as the young right-hander was ranked highly due to the fact that his pitches move so much. If maturity simply does not work, I'm sure the Astros coaching staff will work tirelessly to tweak Solomon's delivery in order to keep his pitches in the strike zone.
Overall, it seems as if Solomon was one of the riskier selections by the Astros on Day 2, but also one of the prospects with the highest ceilings as the 20 year-old righty has a lot of time ahead of him to improve his game and turn into a force in the minor leagues.