Unlike the other names talked about on today’s list, Max Kranick isn’t an obvious prospect who could make a future impact. But Kranick had some real promise at the start of 2022, showing some good velocity. But a Tommy John surgery wiped out the rest of 2022, and most likely all of this year. But that doesn’t mean that Kranick will forever be forgotten.
Kranick’s debut was one to remember as he fired off five perfect innings against the St. Louis Cardinals before a rain delay interrupted what could have been history. The rest of his 2021 season did not go well, as he allowed 27 earned runs, 19 walks, and four home runs over the course of his next 33.2 innings.
Kranick then came out of the gates swinging in 2022. The right-hander added a whole tick of velocity to his four-seam fastball to open the year. But he was only able to pitch five innings in two games before he landed on the injured list and eventually underwent the dreaded surgery. He went from 93-95 to 94-96 MPH, which could be big for his long-term outlook.
While Kranick may never be the ace of the staff, he could become a solid long-relief/swingman if he can maintain the velocity gains he made in 2022. There’s value in a guy who can pitch 2-3 innings out of the bullpen, and make the occasional spot start. Kranick had some promise going into 2022, and it would have been nice to see what he could have done given an extended look, especially after his added velocity. We’ll just have to wait for 2024 to see his return.