The Pittsburgh Pirates are close to signing nearly all of their 2022 Draft picks. They just locked up one of the top talents they selected.
Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates had the largest Draft Bonus Pool to go along with the first overall selection in each round. The team used this to their advantage and was able to hand out multiple 7-digit bonuses to “tough to sign” prep players. This list included Bubba Chandler, Lonnie White Jr., and Anthony Solometo.
So the expectation was that the Pittsburgh Pirates would once again look to cut some deals with highly touted prospects later in the Draft. They did just that when selecting prep pitcher Michael Kennedy. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Kennedy in the 4th round with the 110th overall selection. Kennedy, a left-handed pitcher, was ranked inside the top 90 Draft prospects by both MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs.
Kennedy who played high school ball in New York was committed to play college baseball at Lousiana State University (LSU). Here is what FanGraphs said about his signability:
"“Rumors are that Kennedy, who is committed to LSU, is going to be a pretty tough sign. He’s one of the younger players available in the draft and yet at a listed 205 pounds, he is more physically mature than most of his peers…”"
Well, the good news is that signability will not be a concern. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Michael Kennedy have agreed to a deal. According to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline, Kennedy will be receiving nearly double of the assigned slot for the 110th pick:
The people at FanGraphs bring up another interesting point on Kennedy. He is the third youngest player coming out of this Draft class. This is something we have seen Ben Cherington target prospects on the younger side in the past. For instance, Owen Kellington was one of the younger pitchers in the 2021 Draft.
Kennedy is already ranked to have a 40 Future Value. With his age and upside, he very well could move up the Future Value scale by the time we see him in the Major Leagues. For now, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to develop the lefty and help him tap into his talent as a pitcher. Kennedy immediately becomes one of the Pittsburgh Pirates top left-handed pitching prospects. Both he and 2nd-round pick Hunter Barco rank just behind Anthony Solometo in that category.