wRC+, wOBA, Isolated Slugging Percentage - Jack Brannigan
Jack Brannigan was the Pirates' third-round draft pick in 2022. He won't be the last '22 draft pick we will mention today, and you couldn't have asked for a better first extended look against pro pitching than what Brannigan turned in. The infielder hit and hit very well between Bradenton and Greensboro this past season.
Brannigan finished the year with a .275/.390/.524 triple-slash, a .415 wOBA, and 146 wRC+ through 309 plate appearances. Weighted runs created plus, or wRC+ for short, is a stat based on wOBA (weighted on-base average) and adjusted for park factors and league run environment. 100 is always average, 101 is 1% above average, 99 is 1% below average, and so on. It's one of the best new-age statistics, and Jack Brannigan led all Pirates minor leaguers in both wOBA and wRC+.
The other statistic that Brannigan led Pirates' minor leaguers in was isolated slugging percentage, which is simply just slugging percentage minus batting average. Brannigan also walked at an elite 14.4% rate but struck out in 29.9% of his plate appearances. Along with providing plus power, Brannigan was a threat on the base paths, swiping 23 in 27 attempts.
Brannigan is an outstanding defensive third baseman. He was so good with the glove the Pirates got him playing time at both second base and shortstop. He played short more often than the hot corner once he got to Greensboro. Brannigan has one of the best arms among the Pirates' position players. He was drafted as a two-way player and threw upper-90s fastballs in college, so making the deepest throws from third and short will likely be easy for him.
Brannigan will likely get his season kicked off at Altoona next year. We will see if the Pirates continue to stick him at shortstop more often than third base. He can play the position, but with so many other shortstops in the system, they might try him elsewhere. His arm would play exceptionally well in the outfield if they also decided to go that route. But Brannigan showed off he has one of the highest offensive ceilings in the Pirates' system by leading all of the franchise's current minor leagues in some of the most important stats.