Drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 draft, Michael Kennedy is arguably the best pitcher from the Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 draft class. Kennedy signed for $1 million, which was well above his slot value of $554,800. The Pirates have selected many high schoolers in the last two drafts with signability questions to big over slot deals, and Kennedy is one of them.
Coming out of Troy High School in Troy, New York, Kennedy was seen as a top-of-the-line prep pitcher in the 2022 draft. The now former LSU commit ranked as MLB Pipeline’s 89th best draft prospect. Despite being just 17-years-old, Kennedy already has shown some very advanced stuff on the mound.
The southpaw already sits in the low-90s with his four-seamer, topping out at 94 MPH. He can ride it through the zone with above-average spin. FanGraphs likes the utility his fastball brings. Kennedy’s slider is an upper-70s offering with two-plane break, giving it plenty of depth. He’ll also throw a change-up which he has a very good feel for. Kennedy projects to have very good command as well.
At 6’1”, 205, Kennedy has physical maturity well beyond his years. He also adds some deception with a three-quarters arm slot. This is all before his 18th birthday. It’s not hard to imagine a potential top 100 prospect in Kennedy by the time he’s 20-21. The ability at such a young age only has an arrow that points upward.