Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Interview with Prospect Max Kranick

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates took three big time prep arms back in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft.  Here is an interview with one of them.

With their 11th round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Eastern Pennsylvanian prep right-handed pitcher Max Kranick.  While he was drafted in the 11th round, he rated as one of the top prospects available falling just inside Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft prospects in 2016.  The Bucs ended up giving Kranick an above-slot bonus, paying him around $300,000 while any pick after the 10th round can only get up to $100,000 without it counting against the team’s draft pool.

Kranick immediately entered the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and got some work in during the summer of 2016.  He pitched all of 2018 at Low-A West Virginia.  The righty was gracious enough to do an interview with us during his busy offseason.  Here is what we talked about:

1.      So far you have had a lot of success in your professional career. What do you hope to improve on during this upcoming season?

"“I am looking to continue to develop my four pitches and improve my pitch sequencing.”"

2.      Speaking of improving what do you think you have improved on the most since being drafted in 2016?

"“The biggest improvements were from simplifying my mechanics to make my delivery more repeatable.  I was more of a thrower in high school rather than a pitcher.”"

3.      What were your thoughts when the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted you? Many projected you to go higher, what were your thoughts during the whole process?

"“I was extremely excited to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  The Pirates are known for having a great player development staff.   The draft was a long, exciting and nerve-wracking process.  One thing I took away from the draft was to trust my own instincts.”"

4.      One report that was out there was that you did not start to throw a breaking pitch until you were in high school? Why?

"“When I was younger (Little League) I threw only fastballs and occasionally a change-up which was a knuckle ball.  I started to get a feel for breaking pitches when I was 15 years old but I didn’t need it much in games.  In high school I learned how to throw a curveball and slider which was more of a “show me” pitch.”"

5.      What do you consider to be your best pitch? What do you feel like you need to do to keep improving it?

"“My best pitch is my fastball because I can command it in all parts of the zone.   As I continue to develop, I know there is more velocity in there.”"

6.      What pitch do you feel needs the most work and why? What do you hope to achieve with that this year?

"“I need to continue to get more reps with my changeup.  I need to be able to throw all of my pitches, regardless of the count, in order to advance.”"

7.      What game sticks out the most to you in your baseball career? Has to be that 9 strikeout performance back in July right?

"“The 9-strikeout game was a good night, but I will remember the Asheville game in July as my favorite.  I took a perfect game into the 6th inning against a strong offensive team.”"

8.      Tell us something unique about you, what should fans know about rising prospect Max Kranick on and off the field?

"“While baseball is a game of superstitions, I don’t buy into that thinking.  Each day I take the mound I embrace the process and I don’t try to over-think the moment.  The game comes down to me being able to execute my game plan.”"

Next. Should the Bucs Look at Santana?. dark

Kranick will likely start the year at High-A Bradenton.  The Pittsburgh Pirates normally move pitchers quickly at High-A, so he very well could end up at Double-A by the end of the season.  Once again thanks to Max for the taking the time and be sure to give him a follow on Twitter @MaxKranick.