Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Rum Bunter’s Top 5 Pitching Prospects

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Jun 30, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; A general view of a Pittsburgh Pirates glove and hat in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Number 3: Carmen Mlodzinski

The Pittsburgh Pirates used their 2020 competitive balance pick on college pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski. The right-hander went a few hundred thousand dollars under slot, coming in with the 31st pick. While FanGraphs ranked him at #48, MLB Pipeline had him at #21. Overall, it looks like a good pick on the Pirate part.

Mldozinski’s sinking fastball can run up into the upper-90’s. He’s touched 99 MPH before. With the velocity and movement Mlodzinski can put on this pitch, FanGraphs sees his heater as a 60-grade offering in the future and an already above-average pitch (55-current grade). His breaking ball can be seen as two different pitches but of the same variation. It comes in around the low-80’s. It’s a slider with cutter-like action. MLB Pipeline only grades out a slider, which is still seen as a good, 55-grade offering. FanGraphs meanwhile grades both. A cutter with a 55-future grade and a slider with a 50-future grade. Finally, there’s his change-up. MLB Pipeline sees this as a decent pitch with sink and a third potential plus-offering. Though FanGraphs doesn’t hold it in as high of regard with a 45-grade offering.

Mlodzinski stands at a strong 6’2″, 232 pounds. The 22-year-old is a good power-pitcher with plus off-speed and breaking pitches. We could see the right-hander as early as sometime next season. He’ll be 23 for all of the 2022 season, so there’s a decent chance he gets at least a taste of big-league action next season.