With their third round pick (83rd overall) in the 2022 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Jack Brannigan, a RHP/3B from Notre Dame.
Brannigan was announced as a two-way player. He played third base regularly and pitched occasionally in college this year. Baseball America has him rated as the 168th best pick, while MLB Pipeline has him 164th. He’s 21 years old and stands 6’1″, 190 pounds. BA rates him with a 30 hit tool, so that’s a tough profile to make it to the majors. Everything else is above average as a hitter, with 70 running and 70 arm, so he has tools, but he’s missing the key one to get to the majors. On the pitching side, he gets 60 grades for both of his pitches (fastball/slider), but his control is below average. It sounds like the Pirates might try him both ways at first, but it’s clear that he needs to polish both sides of his game, so he’s not going to be a quick mover.
His fastball has hit 100 MPH and his slider is a wipeout pitch, but he has just 23 innings of experience. Pipeline believes he has the athleticism and projection to be a starter, but his changeup is almost non-existent, and his control is inconsistent. That inning total over three years makes him a fresh arm, but also raw, and Pipeline says that he wants to work as a position player in pro ball. They note that he makes a decent amount of contact and there’s potential for average power, but he doesn’t drive the ball well, and didn’t do particularly well in a summer wood bat league. His defense and speed will help his overall value.
Here’s some video
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.