Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting a Potential 2023 Starting Rotation

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Brennan Malone

Opening Day Age: 22

One of the more underrated pitchers in the Pirates’ system is Brennan Malone. Malone was acquired alongside Liover Peguero in the Starling Marte trade, and despite not being a top 100 prospect, Malone has some really underrated stuff. Stuff that could make him the Pirates’ staff ace.

The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted the right hander with the 33rd overall pick and in the 1st round of the draft for a reason. He is the only pitching prospect in the Pirates’ farm system to have four average or better pitches. Malone’s fastball has a current 55 and 60 future grade. It sits in the mid-90s, and he can touch 99 MPH with the pitch. Not only can he throw it hard, but he can throw it with some spin with a 2300 RPM.

Both his slider and curveball have 50 current/55 future grades. His change-up might be his ‘worst’ pitch, but it still has a future 50 grade, which means it’s still average. 2020 was Malone’s age-19 season, so he still has a few more years to go. But he could sneakily be a really good pitcher in two or so years.

Malone didn’t see much professional playing time in the minors last year. He only pitched 8 innings between rookie ball and Low-A, and surrendered 4 earned runs on 4 hits, 5 walks, and struck out 8 batters. Malone stands at 6’5, 205 pounds, and is very projectable. He was considered one of the top prep pitchers in 2019’s draft. Right now, he ranks as the Pirates’ 8th best prospect and 136th best in baseball, but I could see him being a top 100 guy in a few years.