Max Kranick debuted with five perfect innings for the Pirates against the Cardinals on Sunday, stopped only by a rain delay after throwing just 54 pitches, vaulting the 6-foot-3, 175-pound right-hander into the RotoProspects Top 300 at #247. Kranick started the season in Double-A (4.02 ERA, 9.2 K/9), made 4 starts at Triple-A (4.66 ERA, 9.3 K/9) before forcing the Pirates to go with a six-man rotation at least through the All-Star break after his strong debut. The 345th pick of the 2016 draft out of high school, Kranick has a plus-fastball that averaged 94.4 mph against St. Louis. He could continue to rise quickly if he takes advantage of a spot in the Pirates rotation in their pitcher’s ballpark.
Another surprise starter was Tylor Megill for the Mets on Wednesday against the Braves and his 4.1 innings giving up 2 ER with 4 strikeouts shot the 6-foot-7, 230-pound righty into the rankings at #248. Megill began the season in Double-A (3.12 ERA, 14.5 K/9), made 3 starts at Triple-A (3.77 ERA, 10.7 K/9) before holding his own in his debut and earning a second start on Tuesday. The 230th pick in the 2018 draft out of Arizona, the former college closer is using a plus-fastball that averaged 94.7 mph in his debut. With Marcus Stroman likely returning for his next turn, Megill may have to wait in Triple-A for another opportunity, but he’s worth putting on the prospect map.
Graham Ashcraft has been tearing his way through the minors for the Reds, moving the 6-foot-2, 240-pound righty into the rankings at #294. Ashcraft started the season in High-A (2.33 ERA, 12.8 K/9) and dazzled in his first Double-A start with a complete-game two-hit shutout, including eight strikeouts with no walks. The 174th pick in the 2019 draft out of UAB (transferred from Mississippi State), his power arsenal of a mid-90s fastball and a plus slider is making him a breakout prospect in 2021.
Zavier Warren is making a splash at Low-A as a on-base machine catching prospect for the Brewers, posting a .270/.404/.573 triple-slash with 7 homers in 25 games, landing him at #299 in the updated rankings. The 6-foot, 190-pound switch-hitter was 92nd pick in the 2020 draft out of Central Michigan. For now, the Brewers are trying to develop him as a catcher, but his bat would be enough for him to make it to the majors at third base.
Jose Siri has been on the prospect map before while with the Reds organization, including a 24-homer, 46-steal 2017 in Low-A, but resurfacing in Triple-A for the Astros with a .318/.371/.541 triple-slash, 8 homers and 9 steals has him slipping onto the list at #300. Strikeouts are the primary thing holding Siri back with at 31% K-rate for Sugar Land. There could be a chance in the Houston outfield this season with Myles Straw struggling as the starter in center field, so Siri is making his case.