There are two more notable left-handed pitching prospects that Ben Cherington has brought to the team. Both are from the 2022 Draft class, with a college arm and a prep arm. The Bucs spent nearly 20% of the overall Bonus Pool on the two picks.
With the 44th overall pick, the team selected college pitcher Hunter Barco. Barco was one of the top unsigned prospects from the 2019 Draft Class. He was selected in the 24th round by the Mets but it was known that he was not going to sign. In fact, he was ranked as a Top 100 Draft prospect in the 2019 class.
Instead, he went to the University of Florida. Barco was having a solid junior campaign going 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA. He also struck out 69 hitters in just 50.1 innings pitched. Then in Mid-April, it was announced that he would be undergoing Tommy-John Surgery. Now he will work his way back with the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization. FanGraphs ranks Barco @26 in the Organization which is pretty solid considering he is rehabbing from surgery.
The prep left-hander the team selected in the 2022 Draft class was taken in the fourth round. Michael Kennedy was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s 89th best player in the 2022 Draft Class. The Bucs were able to get him at pick #110 and signed him to a bonus of $1,000,000, which was basically double the amount of the assigned slot value.
He was one of the youngest players in the Draft but already has a fastball that hits the low 90s. Yong is the furthest away compared to the other lefties mentioned, but still has tremendous upside. The Bucs may have gotten a steal in the former LSU recruit. Kennedy ranks as the #30 prospect in the Buc’s system according to FanGraphs. The system has come a long way in terms of left-handed pitching, adding 4 notables one after having 0 before 2020.