The Pittsburgh Pirates organization saw three minor league pitchers head to the mound last night. All three threw very well in their starts.
JT Brubaker went to the mound for his third start for the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis. He faced off against the Cincinnati Reds Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats. The big righty from Akron threw six innings and gave up two runs, both were charged as earned runs. Both runs came off of a home run. Brubaker also struck out five batters while walking two. His Triple-A record is now 2-0 with a 2.65 earned run average. In his 17 innings of work, he has 12 strikeouts and seven walks.
At High-A Bradenton, the Marauders threw a shutout, winning by a score of 9-0. On the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate was pitcher James Marvel. Marvel was a 36th round draft pick out of Duke in 2015. One reason he was such a late round pick was due to receiving Tommy John Surgery that year. Many scouts called it a really good value pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates. So far, Marvel has shown that to be true. He continued his strong season against the Fort Myers Miracle of the Minnesota Twins organization. The 6’4” righty threw six innings and obviously did not allow a run. He only walked one batter and struck out three. Now for the year, the Duke product owns a 3.48 earned run average in 51.2 innings pitched. He has shown good command punching out 37 batters and only walking 13.
At Low-A West Virginia, the Power took home a win in a tight contest. The Pittsburgh Pirates Low-A affiliate defeated the Columbia Fireflies by a score of the New York Mets organization. West Virginia won the game by a score of 3-2. They got a really good start out of Max Kranick, an 11th round pick in 2016. This was Kranick’s first start of the year. He was considered a potential top five round draft pick, but he slid down the board due to signability concerns. Still, the Bucs were more than happy to draft him and get another high upside prep arm. In Kranick’s season début, he fired off five scoreless innings, but did not earn a decision. He only struck out one batter and walked one. All in all, Kranick has pitched in 15 games in his career and owns a 1.72 earned run average.
All three of these pitchers have upside. Kranick likely has the highest ceiling of the three, and with an advanced change up for his age, he could develop into a top of the rotation type arm. Meanwhile, Brubaker and Marvel project more as middle of the rotation type arms. Brubaker obviously is the closest to the majors and could even make the team this September out of the bullpen.