When he saw who was calling, Max Kranick had a pretty good idea of what it was about.

That didn’t make the moment any less exciting, though.

Kranick learned Friday he earned a spot on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ taxi squad for the upcoming 60-game sprint of a Major League Baseball season, meaning he’ll stay ready at the franchise’s Double-A home in Altoona in case he’s ever needed at the big league level. The Pirates made the announcement official Sunday.

“It was just a really, really cool moment for me,” the 22-year-old pitcher said.

Teams are allowed to keep 60 players in the loop for the season, which will start with 30-man active rosters for games. Kranick is one of 19 players officially listed on the “taxi squad” by Pittsburgh, which includes four of the team’s top 10 prospects according to MLB.com: shortstop Oneil Cruz (No. 3), outfielder Travis Swaggerty (No. 6), outfielder Jared Oliva (No. 9) and righty Cody Bolton (No. 10). The Pirates’ top two prospects, righty Mitch Keller and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, will start off in big league camp.

“I was very excited, obviously, when he said I was on the taxi squad,” Kranick said. “But then as soon as he mentioned, ‘Hopefully this summer, you get another call.’ ... It’s like holy cow. This is getting real. There’s a real chance this year that happens.”

Kranick spent all of 2019 with High-A Bradenton, going 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA in a career-best 20 games. He struck out 78 and walked 30 in 109? innings and allowed 100 hits.

He ranks No. 21 on MLB’s list of Pirates prospects and likely would’ve been ticketed for a trip to Altoona this year.

He’s eligible for the Rule 5 draft this coming offseason, meaning Pittsburgh must add him to the 40-man roster or risk losing him to another team.

“It was definitely a great reassurance for that,” Kranick said. “It is my Rule 5 year. It’s my protection year. So, I think that definitely gave me some confidence going into the offseason in a couple months here that my chances are a little bit better now.”

Since spring training, the Valley View grad has stayed loose thanks to a homemade mound in his backyard and is able to track his progress on his brother John’s Rapsodo. He recently hit 98.7 mph on its radar.

Kranick isn’t quite sure what awaits for him at summer camp.

“I think I would just treat it like any other spring training,” he said. “At first, kind of build your way into it, but then once games start, you’re kind of already built into it. I know a couple guys on (the) taxi squad and ex-big leaguers. It’ll be really cool being around those guys, pick their brains.”