Pittsburgh Pirates Promote Pitching Prospect Max Kranick to Bristol

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates promoted pitching prospect Max Kranick to Short-Season A Bristol.  The minor league starter was pitching in the Gulf Coast League.

After a delayed start to his season, and three starts in the Gulf Coast League, Max Kranick has been promoted to Bristol. The news of Kranick’s promotion was broken by John Dreker of Pirates Prospects.

Kranick will join Travis MacGregor and Braeden Ogle, the other two high upside prep arms from the 2016 draft class.

Kranick started the year on the disabled list after suffering from shoulder fatigue.  The nagging injury kept him sidelined for most of the season.  However, he made his debut at the beginning of August.  For the Pittsburgh Pirates Gulf Coast affiliate, Kranick made three starts.  He did not allow a single run in his 12.2 innings of work.  Also, he struck out nine hitters and walked four.

Kranick was very impressive last season at the Gulf Coast Affiliate.  Last year, Kranick made nine appearances, including six starts.  He accumulated 33.1 innings and he posted a 2.43 earned run average.  Additionally, he struck out 21 hitters and only walked four.  Kranick did a great job of limiting base runners last year as he posted a 1.05 WHIP.  Kranick proved last year that he was better than the competition at the Gulf Coast level.  However, with his injury this year, it only made sense to get him a few starts there just to get back into pitching live games.

On MLB Pipeline, Kranick ranks as the 29th prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates system.  However, here at Rum Bunter we have him rated as a top 15 prospect, including him being in front of MacGregor and Ogle.  Of the three, Kranick seems to be the most advanced in terms of pitching and physical maturity.  Here is more on Kranick from MLB Pipeline:

"His fastball can sit in the low 90s and he has shown a pretty good feel for commanding it within the strike zone. While he has a good feel for a changeup and some aptitude for spinning a breaking ball, those secondary offerings are a bit raw. It’s unclear whether Kranick will settle on a curve or slider, but the Pirates are fine with sending Kranick out with what is a hybrid power breaking ball for now and seeing where his natural athleticism take him."

All in all, it is good to see Max Kranick get back on the mound.  The former 11th round pick was given an above slot bonus and there are high expectations for him.  With Short-Season ball concluding soon, he will not get as many innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates had hoped for.  Hopefully, he can prove in his small window that he is ready to make the jump to full season ball next year.

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