Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Top Performers at DSL, FCL Pitchers

Let's take a look at the best performing prospects at the Pirates' DSL and FCL affiliates

The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at
The Florida Complex League (FCL) Orioles played their first night game against the (FCL) Pirates at / THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE / USA TODAY
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Florida Complex League pitchers... and two honorable mention hitters

Earlier this week, Marty took a look at three of top performing hitters for the FCL Pirates this season. So today we will mostly focus on pitchers in the FCL. However, there are two hitters we will still take a look at.

If there’s any position player who is making a run for Bradenton before the end of the year, it’s catcher/outfielder Miguel Sosa. Sosa has been scorching hot this year. In 68 plate appearances, the 19 year old is batting .326/.544/.534. Sosa has only struck out in 22.1% of his trips to the plate, but has walked an astounding 22 times for a 32.4% walk rate. He is hitting for decent power too with a .209 isolated slugging percentage. With a wRC+ of 187, he’s probably the Pirates’ best short-season hitter thus far. 

One last FCL player with over 100 plate appearances who is doing fantastic is Eddy Rodriguez. Rodriguez is batting .309/.436/.496 through 101 trips to the plate. He’s walking at a strong 12.9% rate, but is striking out about 10% less often than Valdez with a 14.9% strikeout rate. Though he hasn’t hit for as much power, with a three home runs, four doubles, and a .160 isolated slugging percentage. Still, he has an outstanding 140 wRC+ on the year.

Although he would be one of the youngest players at the level, Michael Kennedy also has a chance of debuting at Bradenton before the end of the year. The Pirates’ 2022 fourth-round pick, Kennedy currently has a 2.93 ERA, 3.75 FIP, and 1.30 WHIP in 27.2 innings.

Opponents haven’t been able to touch up Kennedy, as they have struck out 31.4% of the time and are only managing a .200 batting average. When they do get a hit, it hasn’t been a long ball as Kennedy has allowed just a single homer all year. The only area that Kennedy has struggled with is walks with a 13.6% walk rate. Still, with how well he’s been pitching and the fact he was a talented draft pick, there’s a chance Bradenton will get an 18-year-old southpaw before the end of the season.

Antowne Kelly is the Pirates’ FCL affiliate’s best RHP. Another 19-year-old, Kelly owns a 2.33 ERA, 2.99 FIP, and 1.30 WHIP in 27 innings. Kelly has struck out 33 batters for a strikeout rate of 29.2%, and has yet to allow a home run. However, walks have been an issue, like they have been for Kennedy. He has a 10.6% walk rate, which while not terrible, is a tad high. Of course, take it for face value, as we’re talking about less than 50 innings and in the Florida Complex League.

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