Pirates Prospects has learned that right-handed pitcher Max Kranick has been promoted to the Bristol Pirates. Kranick was scheduled to begin the season with Bristol, but shoulder tightness at the end of May caused him to be shutdown for a brief time and then he slowly worked his way back into action.
Kranick made his last start in the GCL on Wednesday and he is scheduled to make his Bristol debut on Monday, which would give him three more starts before the season ended. In his last GCL start, he pitched five innings (74 pitches) without allowing an earned run. He was sitting 89-93 MPH with his fastball and showing a strong changeup that was very effective.
Kranick pitched a total of 12.2 innings without an earned run in the GCL, but also threw two simulated games before he got into a regular game. The second simulated game was three innings and was originally scheduled to be his season debut, but rain washed away the GCL game that day. The Pirates wanted to keep Kranick on a five-day schedule, so his mound work was shifted to a simulated game instead.
The 2016 11th round pick is going to make up some missed innings in the Fall Instructional League, but I wouldn’t rule out him getting a start with Morgantown as well. Their schedule runs a week later than Bristol and the Pirates gave a starter to Jacob Taylor in Morgantown last year to help get him some extra work after he returned from Tommy John surgery.
Kranick was ranked 19th in our mid-season prospect update, dropping just slightly from his preseason ranking (16th) due to the uncertainty of his shoulder injury. He has returned strong and should still be on track to start next year at West Virginia. He pitched about 40 innings between Spring Training and Extended ST, so along with his five simulated innings, 12.2 GCL innings and remaining schedule, that should put him in a good spot to be available for a normal workload next year.