Baseball Prospectus Releases Their Top Ten Pirates Prospects

Baseball Prospectus has released their top ten Pirates Prospects today, which is available here for subscribers. The names on the top ten list are the same as everywhere else, although the rankings are much different.

Most outlets have Gregory Polanco as the top prospect, but BP went with Jameson Taillon first and Polanco second. Tyler Glasnow rated third, which is a pretty standard rating for him. From there, BP did things a little different.

Their number four prospect was Reese McGuire, and number five was Josh Bell. These two rankings are higher than most. Part of that is because BP is lower on Austin Meadows (7) and Alen Hanson (8), although they are high on McGuire and Bell.

Nick Kingham ranked sixth, which is a normal spot for him, and Luis Heredia and Harold Ramirez took the last two spots in order, which is also normal. The big difference between this list and other lists are that Meadows/Hanson have been basically switched with McGuire/Bell. That’s not a surprise if you saw BP’s top 100 prospects last week. The Pirates had seven players in that list, and as expected, they went in the same order as this ranking.

BP’s writeup includes great information on each player, including an overall future potential, a realistic role, a risk factor, major league ETA, and all of the strengths and weaknesses. For example, they say Jameson Taillon has an OFP of a number two starter, with a realistic role of a number three starter. They also list him as a low risk, with an ETA of 2014.

Gregory Polanco and Nick Kingham also received an ETA of 2014, with Kingham’s ETA listed as “late 2014”. If everything goes by the ETAs that were listed, then the Pirates could see Polanco, Taillon, Glasnow, Bell, Kingham, and Hanson in the majors by the end of the 2015 season.

The parting thought was a good summary of the overall system: “This is the no. 3 farm system in baseball, complete with high-ceiling upside and depth for days, the kind that will keep it in the top tier long after the Taillons and Polancos of the world graduate to the majors.”

  • Why is the baseball world so down on Taillon? BP has his realistic projection as #3 starter, what a slap in the face considering the stuff he possesses.

    • Moose, I think that’s just the floor. According to BP’s analysis, it’s not unlikely that Taillon turns into one of the best pitchers in the league. They do believe that Cole is ahead of Taillon , especially since Cole got the ultra-rare 8 on his fastball when he was rated last year. But Jason Parks himself has said that he thinks that it’s a mistake to underrate Taillon. He says that the Pirates have a system that limits what young pitchers do as they work their way up and that Taillon is likely to surprise people in the same way that Cole did.

  • Whats interesting is this- In terms of Austin, Bat speed usually lends itself to plate disclipine because you can wait longer to make your mind up to swing, better margin of error, and also usually less strikeouts. What…….if any signs…….based off his plate disclipine and strikeouts actually bear out this odd theory about slow bat speed. Lets be realistic, the kid was in high school……how many 90+ FB did you face in high school? Its a growth and adjustment process to better pitching. If that same issue occurred past midyear this season, then i’d maybe be a tad concerned

  • If I can reword BP’s overall logic: The Pirates have the third best minor league system – even though their best prospect is realistically projected to be a number three starter? That doesn’t really make sense to me.

    • Well, I guess your best prospect could be projected as a #2 or #1 starter……..and the rest of your system could suck. There’s a lot of that going around.

      The #3 ranking is for the SYSTEM, obviously. Presumably, if you actually looked at the rest of the Pirates prospect list (well beyond the Top 10, too), you’d easily see why they have (at least) a Top 3 system in baseball. Take a look at every other team’s #2 prospect, their #5, their #8, their #10, #12, #15, etc., and compare those guys head-to-head with whatthe Bucs have at a similar spot. The Pirates system is crazy-good and deep.

      Many pundits feel that it’s #1 overall, so #3 might actually be a bit conservative but, hey, I’ll take it.

  • So basically their top 8 prospects are worthy of top 100 consideration and inclusion, depending on who’s list you’re looking at. Not a bad spot to be in at all.

    Also, can anyone tell be when Meadow’s bat slowed down so much? The first I heard of it was a week or two ago, and it seems odd that it would happen over the offseason before his age 19 season. Just sayin’.

    • Sticky,the same ” experts ” that couldn’t see how slow Morneau’s bat had become now think Meadows is slow !

      • I think those comments about his bat being slow are getting blown out of proportion.

      • BP’s staff has seen Meadows get beat with what they call fringy fastballs in the zone. This raises a red flag, but it’s not a death sentence. Parks acknowledges that Meadows might turn out to be terrific, but he passes along what he and his staff see even if it runs contrary to what most scouts and analysts are saying.

  • Glad Heredia still got love there.

    That McGuire report read like a dirty magazine.