CARMEN MLODZINSKI, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: February 19, 1999
Height: 6′ 2″
Drafted: Supplemental 1st Round, 31st Overall, 2020
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of South Carolina
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Mlodzinski was a latecomer as a pitching prospect. He moved from the infield to the mound as a high school senior and didn’t pitch especially well his first two years at South Carolina. He had a 5.52 ERA as a freshman and 5.91 in three games as a sophomore, with his season limited by a foot injury. He broke out in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2019, with a 2.15 ERA and 40 strikeouts to 4 walks. As a redshirt sophomore in 2020, he put up a 2.84 ERA in four games before the season was shut down. In 25.1 IP, he walked eight and struck out 22.
Mlodzinski didn’t show quite the same stuff in 2020 that he did in Cape Cod. His fastball was reaching 97-98 mph in summer ball, but sat at 92-94 in 2020, although it reached higher. In 2021 he was mostly in the mid-90s. His slider and cutter were plus pitches in Cape Cod, but more solid in 2020, leaving questions about how many bats he’ll miss in pro ball. Still, the fastball is a heavy sinker and produces a lot of ground balls. The Pirates no doubt are hoping that his stuff will rebound to what it was in summer 2019. MLB.com rated Mlodzinski 21st among draft prospects, while Baseball America rated him 25th. Several other observers rated him in the top 50. He signed for a little under the slot amount of $2,312,000.
Mlodzinski didn’t go to the Pirates’ alternate training site, but was in the fall instructional league.
Mlodzinski got off to a great start at Greensboro. In seven starts in May and June, he had a 1.72 ERA and 13.2 K/9. He started struggling in July, though, and went on the injured list for a month with a sore shoulder. When he returned he pitched only in short stints and wasn’t effective. Mlodzinski pitched far better at home than on the road, so the Greensboro ballpark didn’t hurt him. He threw two innings in Indianapolis’ final game of the season.
Mlodzinski spent the season in the Altoona rotation. He did not have a good year. Opponents batted 267/331/425 against him in a league where the averages were 240/325/403. Things didn’t get better over the course of the season. After Mlodzinski had a very good month of June, opponents battered him in July and August, resulting in a 6.51 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.
His strong pitching over the first two months of 2021 is looking farther and farther away as Mlodzinski doesn’t seem to be making progress. It’s possible he’s never fully recovered from the shoulder problem. Whatever the reason, there’s probably some risk that, if the Pirates send him to AAA to open 2023, he won’t be able to stay there.
|2023: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $2,050,000
MiLB FA Eligible: 2026
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2023
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 10, 2020: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Supplemental 1st round, 31st overall pick; signed on July 2.|