Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Prospects Who Can Make an Impact in 2021

Mar 3, 2021; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Miguel Yajure (50) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2021; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Miguel Yajure (50) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 02: Max Kranick #67 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at LECOM Park on March 02, 2021 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 02: Max Kranick #67 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at LECOM Park on March 02, 2021 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Starting Pitcher Max Kranick

One of the more intriguing arms in the Pirate farm system is 23-year-old righty Max Kranick. The Pirates selected Kranick in the 11th round of the 2016 draft and is a pitcher that both the regime that drafted him, as well as the current regime have always been high on.

Friday night Kranick made his Double-A debut. In his first start at the Double-A level Kranick went 5.2 strong innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts. During the outing fastball routinely sat in the 97-99 MPH range and was an overpowering pitch.

FanGraphs gives Kranick’s power fastball a future value of 50. Kranick also throws a slider that has a FV of 45 and a cutter with a FV of 45. While his changeup, FV of 40, could use work, his command has a strong FV of 45.

This past offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates added Kranick to their 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Had they not added Kranick to the 40-man roster it appears likely that another team would have selected him.

While Kranick has just one appearance at the Double-A level under his belt it would not be a surprise to see him reach the Majors this season. Kranick is already 23, he is on the 40-man roster and if not for a shoulder issue that cost him time in 2017, as well as the lack of a minor league season in 2020, Kranick would likely be at the Triple-A level.

2020 Draft Pick Impresses in Pro Debut. dark. Next

There will undoubtedly be prospects that make an impact with the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. While nothing is a guarantee, Swaggerty and Yajure appear to be safe bets to make an impact. Kranick is a slightly off the radar name to watch as well.

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