Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Team Selects Jack Brannigan at No. 83

CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 08: Jack Brannigan #9 of the University of Notre Dame drives in Brooks Coetzee #42 during a game between Notre Dame and North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium on March 08, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 08: Jack Brannigan #9 of the University of Notre Dame drives in Brooks Coetzee #42 during a game between Notre Dame and North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium on March 08, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates use their third round pick and the 83rd overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft on Notre Dame two-way player Jack Brannigan.

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced their third round selection, drafting Notre Dame right-hander and third baseman Jack Brannigan with their third round pick. Brannigan was ranked as the 164th overall best draft prospect in the 2022 draft by MLB Pipeline and the 150th best overall draft prospect by Prospects Live.

Brannigan is being selected as a RHP/3B. He’s mostly played the field this year, racking up 243 plate appearances and playing 54 games at the hot corner. He hit pretty well with Notre Dame, batting .291/.360/.540 with a dozen home runs and 15 doubles. Brannigan has plus power potential, and he started to tap into that this year. The right-handed batter put up a .249 isolated slugging percentage this year. Being a pitcher, he has an arm that is easily strong enough to remain at the hot corner.  He also can field third base good enough to stick there and not have to move to an outfield corner.

The biggest downside is that Brannigan put up an unimpressive strikeout rate and struck out a lot. He walked in 8.2% of his trips to the plate, and struck out at a 20.2% rate. That’s not great, but something that can be improved upon. The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking a risk on Brannigan as a hitter.

Though if things don’t work out as a hitter, Brannigan has closer stuff. He averages out in the upper-90s and can hit 100 MPH. He also throws with armside run and his mechanics make him a low-risk arm. His mid-80s slider has wipeout action with tons of depth. He has a feel for a change-up, but he doesn’t use it that often. You can’t rule out a possibility as a starter’s future for Brannigan if he can get that change-up to an average level. His command leaves more to be desired, though that’s common for young power arms.

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The 21-year-old Brannigan is likely an underslot selection for the Pirates. It could be setting them up for a run at Brock Porter or another big time draft prospect who has fallen down in the draft. Brannigan has the typical risk you see from a big slugger and big power arm. There’s some strikeout concern and some command concern on the mound. But if he can figure it out, you’re looking at a guy who could hit 25 home runs a year and hit 100 MPH on the mound.

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