This is one in a series of stories breaking down PBN’s Top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates prospects.
Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jack Brannigan is coming off of a strong 2023 campaign in what was his second professional season.
The Pirates selected Brannigan out of the University of Notre Dame in the third round of the 2022 draft. Though he was a two-way player with the Fighting Irish, Brannigan has focused solely on hitting since being drafted.
He began his career in the Pirates’ organization last year in a brief two-game stint in the FCL before a promotion to Single-A Bradenton. Overall, he combined for a .666 OPS in 28 games between the two levels.
This year, Brannigan enjoyed a breakout season, splitting time between Bradenton and High-A Greensboro. In 87 games between the two levels, Brannigan slashed .275/.390/.524 while swiping 24 bases in 27 attempts.
After making his debut with the Grasshoppers on July 11, Brannigan registered 12 home runs and a .987 OPS through the end of the regular season. Both ranked second in the South Atlantic League over that span.
Despite not having a reputation as a slugger, the 22-year-old hit a total of 19 home runs. That mark was good for fourth-most in the Pirates’ system. He trailed only Jase Bowen’s 23 homers and Matt Gorski and Rodolfo Nolasco, who each slugged 20.
An area of improvement for Brannigan as he continues to develop will be to try and limit the strikeouts. Despite an impressive showing offensively this past season, Brannigan struck out in right around 30% of his plate appearances.
If Brannigan is able to put the ball in play more moving forward, he has the chance to soar up the Pirates’ prospects list.
Defensively, Brannigan spends the majority of his time at third base, though he’s also played both middle infield spots. His best tool is a strong arm, which MLB Pipeline rates as a ’70’ on the 20-80 scouting scale.
With his newfound power, Brannigan has the makings to see his prospect status rise. With solid speed, a strong glove and a rocket of an arm, he’ll look to take another leap forward in 2024.