Bucs Dugout, you have spoken. In what was actually a little bit of a surprise for me, Max Kranick’s debut defeated Ben Cherington’s draft haul as the top Pittsburgh Pirates moment of 2021.
When I checked early on in the voting, the draft haul was winning by a fair amount, but the majority of the votes after the first 48 hours seem to have come in for Kranick, and his debut took the crown with 68 percent of the vote over 419 total votes.
It appears young Kranick has a lot of fans out there, and that’s obviously a good thing. The 24-year-old finished last season with a 2-3 record in the Majors over 9 starts with an ERA of 6.28 and a WHIP of 1.707. He gave up 47 hits in 38 innings pitched while striking out 32, which are hardly earth-shattering numbers considering how positive his first start was.
For instance, he gave up 13 earned runs in 11 innings pitched over his next three starts, showing how hard it is for consistency when you’re a young pitcher learning the ropes in MLB, and then had three more mediocre outings before finally getting back to his debut form in a September 26 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He went five scoreless innings in that one to pick up the win for the Buccos.
Nevertheless, the young right-hander holds some promise for the future, and his debut was a shot of optimism back in June of last year for a team that needed good news anywhere it could get it.
So there you have it. Kranick’s debut is your top Pirates moment of 2021. Check out Jake’s full write up on it from earlier in our voting.