JACK BRANNIGAN, THIRD BASEMAN
|Born: March 11, 2001
Drafted: 3rd Round, 83rd Overall, 2022
How Acquired: Draft
College: Notre Dame University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Brannigan may present something of a puzzle for the Pirates. He’s a very athletic player with excellent tools and the Pirates announced him as a two-way player. He served as a reliever and third baseman in college, and wants to play third going forward. Scouts, though, think he has a higher ceiling on the mound. His fastball sits above 95 mph and he’s reached 100. He also has a slider that can be a big swing-and-miss pitch, and his change has some potential. His control isn’t good, but with his athleticism he could improve his mechanics. He totaled only 23.1 IP in his college career, with 38 strikeouts, including 28 in 14.2 IP in 2022. He also walked 14 and had a career ERA of 6.94.
At third, Brannigan could be a plus defender. He hasn’t hit consistently, with a .288 career average and raw power that hasn’t shown up a great deal in games. He also hasn’t hit well with wood bats in summer ball. He doesn’t control the strike zone well, as shown by 111 career strikeouts and 44 walks. He has very good speed, but wasn’t a big base stealer in college. He seems like a significant overdraft, as Baseball America ranked him 168th among draft prospects and MLB.com had him 164th. The Pirates probably see him as having more potential than he’s shown on the field so far. They’ve said they have a little more interest in Brannigan as a third baseman but will try to develop him as a two-way player. Brannigan signed for exactly the slot amount.
Brannigan strictly played third in his debut. After a couple games in the FCL, he moved up to Bradenton. He didn’t hit a great deal, although he at least showed some power and a willingness to take pitches. His defense at third was impressive, as he has good hands and agility, and not surprisingly, a strong arm.
The two-way play that the Pirates are planning will probably start in Greensboro in 2023. In his first full year, Bubba Chandler served strictly as DH when he wasn’t pitching. It’ll be interesting to see how the Pirates handle Brannigan, who looks like a strong defender.