Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Underrated Prospects Who Are Hot

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Carmen Mlodzinski #83 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Carmen Mlodzinski #83 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 16: Carmen Mlodzinski #83 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 16: Carmen Mlodzinski #83 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Right-handed pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski

The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Carmen Mlodzinski in the first round of the 2020 draft. The 31st overall pick, Mlodzinski had a solid debut season in 2021, pitching to the tune of a 3.93 ERA, 4.34 FIP, and 1.29 WHIP in the hitter-friendly league the Greensboro Grasshoppers are a part of.

Things could have gone better for the right-hander during his first three starts. His first 11.1 innings saw him give up nine earned runs while dishing out eight walks. He also surrendered two home runs throughout this small sample size. But his last 18 innings have been pretty good.

He currently has a 2.50 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 1.33 WHIP throughout his last five starts. Mlodzinski has decreased his walk rate below 10% to 9.2%. However, he’s kept up a solid strikeout rate, clocking in at 26.3%. The early-season home run problems haven’t given him much trouble recently, with just a single homer allowed, leading to a 0.5 HR/9 rate.

Mlodzinski should continue to improve as the season continues. The right-hander has a .333 batting average on balls in play in his last 18 innings of work, which will likely regress closer to the norm as he pitches more. We may end up seeing him at Triple-A sooner rather than later if he keeps pitching the way he has.

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