Pittsburgh Pirates: Max Kranick Impresses in Triple-A Debut


Tuesday night Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitching prospect Max Kranick made his debut at the Triple-A level and impressed in the process

This past offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates added two prospects to their 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. These two players were infielder Rodolfo Castro and starting pitcher Max Kranick.

While Castro made his MLB debut in April and is now raking with the Double-A Altoona Curve, Kranick has become a bit forgotten among Pirate fans. Kranick started the season with Castro in Altoona. However, Tuesday night he made his Triple-A debut with the Indianapolis Indians. This debut is one that went well for the hard throwing Kranick.

Prior to being promoted to the Triple-A level Kranick had made 3 starts with Double-A Altoona. In these 3 starts Kranick posted a 4.02 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 3.2% walk rate and a 25.8% strikeout rate. In these 3 starts he allowed a pair of home runs, giving him a 1.15 HR/9.

In his Triple-A debut on Tuesday night Kranick flashed why the Pittsburgh Pirates felt the need to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft this past offseason. The 23-year-old Kranick is now on the doorstep of the Majors and showed why.

Kranick pitched 5 innings for the Indians in his Triple-A debut, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, no walks, he did not allow a home run and he struck out 6 batters. It goes without saying that this was an impressive Triple-A debut for Kranick.

The ball is now in Kranick’s court. If he can continue to pitch well for the Indianapolis Indians he could reach the Majors before the end of the 2021 season. Even if he does not, he will put himself in position to compete for a roster spot entering the 2022 season.

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Kranick has all of the tools needed to make an impact with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has a power fastball, as well as a slider with a future value of 45 according to FanGraphs. Kranick also throws a cutter with plus potential.