Here we have our next 2022 draft pick, left-handed pitcher Michael Kennedy. Kennedy was taken in the 4th round by the Bucs. The southpaw was one of two high school pitchers the Pirates drafted but the only one who signed. Kennedy's first season was spent at the Florida Complex League and Low-A Bradenton at the tail end of his rookie campaign.
After the All-STar Break, Kennedy pitched 28 innings, pitching to a 1.93 ERA, 3.14 FIP, and 1.07 WHIP. Opponents couldn't touch Kennedy in the second half. They managed a batting average well below the Mendoza Line at .188 (despite a relative league average .295 BAbip) and struck out in nearly a third of their plate appearances with a 31.3% strikeout rate. Kennedy, impressively, didn't allow a single home run. But he did have a 10.7% walk rate.
Kennedy's first few games in the first half weren't bad, though the second half was a major improvement. Kennedy still had a 2.81 ERA, 35.4% K-rate, and 0.48 HR/9, but he allowed far more walks (16.5%) and worked around a worryingly low .229 BABIP. Granted, this was in an even smaller sample size of 18.2 innings.
Kennedy isn't a hard-throwing pitcher, tossing a low-90s sinker. But he has a good slider, change-up, and command. 2024 will mark Kennedy's age-19 campaign. He won't turn 20 until November of 2025. He was the 10th youngest player to throw at least one inning at A-Ball this season. It will be interesting to see how he handles a full year at Bradenton next season.