Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Potential Breakout Prospects for 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of the field in the fifth inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 6, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of the field in the fifth inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 6, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 23: A general view of the field during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on August 23, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

Pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski

With the 31st overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski. The Pirates drafted Mlodzinski out of the University of South Carolina. Entering the draft, some projections had Mlodzinski as a potential top 10-15 pick.

In a normal season when players are signed after the draft they typically make their professional debut later that summer. Without a minot league season, this was not the case in 2020. Fortunately for Mlodzinski, due to being able to pitch 25.1 innings with the Gamecocks in the spring of 2020 it was not a totally lost year for the young righty.

Mlodzinski will turn 22 in February. The Pirates would likely love to have Mlodzinski reach High-A Greensboro by the end of the season. This would put him on pace to start the 2022 season at the Double-A level, and be in position to reach the Triple-A level by the end of the 2022 season.

FanGraphs already ranks Mlodzinski as the 13th best prospect in the Pirate farm system. After pitching to the tune of a 2.14 ERA in six starts in the Cape Cod League in 2019, including 5 shutout innings in his lone playoff start, he started to grab the attention of scouts after flashing his plus stuff. This showing played a large role in the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Mlodzinski 31st overall in the draft.

With a good season in 2021, Mlodzinski could work his way into being a top 10 prospect in the Pirate system. He could also solidify himself as a key piece for the future of the team’s starting rotation, as well as becoming a household name among prospects for Pirate fans.

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