Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Prospects Who Need to Rebound in 2022

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Pittsburgh Pirates Right-Handed Pitcher, Brennan Malone

Much like the aforementioned Eddie Yean, right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone also needs to have a strong bounce-back season. The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Malone from the Arizona Diamondbacks back in the 2019-2020 offseason.  The Bucs sent outfielder Starling Marte to the D’Backs in exchange for Malone and infielder Liover Peguero.

There was a lot of excitement about the deal as it seemed to be a really good deal for both sides.  The Bucs received two significant prospects in return for their veteran outfielder.  Peguero was viewed as a budding Top 100 prospect.  Malone was a first-round draft pick in 2019 and the second prep pitcher off the board, only behind Quinn Priester.

Malone is even more intriguing than Yean in terms of his raw potential.  He is big, standing at 6’4” and weighing around 205 pounds. Much like Yean, Malone has a power fastball that received a 60 value on FanGraphs. He also shows a plus curveball and slider and has a changeup for show. The questions around Malone will be about his control.

Malone was always viewed as having a ton of raw talent as a pitcher.  However, with power prep arms, control typically is an issue.  Malone has walked hitters at a 16.7% and 13% clip in his first two professional seasons. The other issue is the fact that he has barely pitched competitively since being Drafted.  He has only thrown 22 professional innings thus far.

Malone will be to actually get him onto the mound consistently.  Last year he started the year in Low-A but was sidelined relatively early on due to a blister.  From there, he struggled with his control and was reassigned to the Complex League to work on his mechanics and approach. Overall he had an ERA north of 5 through his 10.1 innings of work at Low-A.  For Malone to bounce back he needs to just get on the mound consistently.  If he can start throwing consistent innings then maybe we can see what he really is as a prospect.

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