Michael Kennedy was the only high school pitcher the Pirates drafted and signed from their 2022 draft class. The southpaw is one of the many top high school pitchers the Pirates have taken over the last few years. Kennedy’s first handful of games at the Florida Complex League have gone great and put him on a good future trajectory.
Through the first 42.1 innings of his pro career, Kennedy is pitching to the tune of a 2.13 ERA, 3.43 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP. Kennedy has struck out nearly a third of his opponents faced with a 32.1% strikeout rate while also allowing a single home run. The only blemish on Kennedy’s report card thus far is his 11.1% walk rate. However, he has walked just six batters over his last 23.2 innings of work, and four of his last six outings have seen him walk zero opponents.
Kennedy isn’t a hard thrower, at least at this point in his career. He’s topping out in the low 90s, but because of his arm slot and spin, his fastball plays up. It has riding life as well as some deceptive qualities. His slider sits in the upper 70s and is the pitch he gets many of his swings and misses with. His third and final offering is his low 80s changeup.
The lefty projects to throw his stuff with above-average command and control. He’s an athletic pitch with an easy, repeatable delivery. Though Kennedy is a little short for a pitcher. He’s 6’1”, 205 pounds. While he is far from the most projectable prospect in the Pirates’ system, he should add some weight and maybe another inch of height because he’s still so young.
Kennedy doesn’t turn 19 until the very end of November. There are still a few years before we see him make a push for the Major Leagues. However, Kennedy does have three pitchers that project as average to above average, as well as above-average control/command. He does have the lowest possibility of becoming a top 100 prospect, in my unprofessional opinion. He has the least amount of physical projectability, and none of his stuff sticks out as plus or double-plus. But it’s still early in his career, and he has traits that could get him to the coveted top 100 status.