After being added to the 40-man roster this offseason, starting pitcher Max Kranick will be a prospect thart fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates should watch this season
At this point it is well know that the Pittsburgh Pirates have a highly touted farm system. An overlooked member of thtis farm system is starting pitcher Max Kranick. However, earlier this offseason, Kranick was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft for a reason.
During the 2019 season Kranick made 20 starts for the High-A Bradenton Marauders. At the High-A level, Kranick pitched well and proved to be one of the most intriguing starting pitching prospect the Pittsburgh Pirates have in their farm system.
With the Marauders in 2019, Kranick posted a 3.79 ERA and a 4.23 FIP in 109.1 innings pitched. He allowed just 11 home runs (0.91 HR/9), walked 6.7% of batters faced and struck out 17.3% of opposing batters.
In his minor league career Kranick has pitched 245 innings in 51 games, 47 of which were starts. Kranicnk owns a 3.34 ERA, to go with a 0.70 HR/9, 5.7% walk rate and a 19.3% strikeout rate. For the most part, above average numbers for a pitching prospect.
Faced with the decision on rather or not to protect Kranick from the Rule 5 Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to add him to their 40-man roster. This is a decision that could prove to pay off for the team in the long run.
Kranick’s fastball sits in the 92-94 MPH range and has topped out at 96 MPH. If he eventually moves to the bullpen, Kranick could see his vlaue raise further. Especially with the ability to make his fastball a power pitch. The righty also throws a slider and a change up, with his slider being the better of these two pitches.
Kranick could begin the 2021 season at the Double-A or Triple-A level. Had there been a minor league season in 2020, then, undoubtedly, Kranick would have started at Double-A with a chance to reach the Triple-A level. But the lack of a minor league season could throw a wrench in his plans.
Regardless of where he begins his 2021 season, the 23-year-old Kranick could be an under the radar candidate to make his MLB debut. If he does not, then that debut will almost assuredly come during the 2022 season.