Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects Who Made Their Pro Debut in 2023

Which top Pittsburgh Pirates prospects made their professional debuts in the 2023 minor league season?

Jul 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes, the Pirates
Jul 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes, the Pirates / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy was taken in the 4th round of the 2022 draft. The soft-tossing southpaw was one of the better high school lefties in the draft, and his first pro season was pretty decent. He started the year at the Pirates’ Florida Complex League affiliate but ended his 2023 campaign at A-Ball Bradenton.

Kennedy pitched a total of 46.2 innings in his age-18 season, working to a strong 2.12 ERA, 3.51 FIP, and 1.11 WHIP. Kennedy only allowed a single home run for a 0.19 HR/9 rate. He also owned a 33% strikeout rate. But walks gave him some issues, as he dished out a free pass at a 13.1% rate. Granted, nine of his 23 walks came in his final three outings of the season.

While Kennedy struggled to limit walks, he projects as a good command pitcher. He isn’t a hard thrower, averaging around 90-91 MPH on his sinker during his few games spent at Bradenton. However, Kennedy’s low arm slot makes his sinker play up.

While his sinker is a solid offering, his best pitches are his secondaries. That includes his change-up, which was his second most used offering at Bradenton and sits around the upper-80s. His slider is a third decent pitch which he tosses around the low-80s.