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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pirates Have Four in Keith Law’s Mid-Season Top 50

Keith Law has released his mid-season top 50 prospects, and has four Pittsburgh Pirates prospects on the list. This is consistent with the previous prospect lists, which had 4-5 prospects listed.

Law has Tyler Glasnow as the top guy in the system, coming in ranked at number 20. That’s the same as his pre-season ranking. Law says that Glasnow has two above-average secondary offerings now, which shows the improvements he has made with his changeup. Fastball command is going to be a key thing for the right-hander to work on, and that’s the main thing Law points out. He says Glasnow has the upside of a number one starter.

The next prospect on the list is Josh Bell, who made a big jump to number 29, going up from 97 in the pre-season. Law says that Bell is back to where he was supposed to be, and calls him a middle of the order bat who could hit for average with 25-30 homers a year. Bell was recently promoted to Double-A, so the rest of the year should give a good view of how he performs against upper level pitching.

Jameson Taillon came in third, ranked number 38. Law was lower on him in the pre-season, ranking him 27th. Law previously said he’s got number one starter stuff, but has lack of deception and a below-average changeup. The changeup was something that Taillon was showing improvements with in 2013, so that rating could change once he comes back, if he continues to improve the pitch.

The final player is Austin Meadows, who comes in at number 40, down from his pre-season rank of 35. Law was high on Meadows as a sleeper in the pre-season, saying he could jump to the top 10. However, his hamstring injury prevented him from moving up the list. Law says he’s got the potential to be a middle of the order bat.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Chris Hale

JT has the stuff to be a #1 . That hasn’t changed and won’t change. He won’t be our #1 though. Hopefully he will be a #1 caliber starter filling our #2 or #3 spots. I envision 3 #1 ’s at the top of the rotation #1 Cole #2 Taillon and #3 Glasnow and a solid # 3 starter in Kingham and a solid 3 or 4 in Locke and Sampson in our rotation by 2016

jaygray007

I just hope Taillon at least becomes a #3 innings eater type at least.

Not the ace we were hoping for, but a heck of a lot better than Bryan Bullington, Sean Burnett, and Brad Lincoln ended up being…

csnumber23

So you are ready to say he is not the ace we were hoping for?? Just because Keith Law dropped him doesn’t mean he can’t still be the ace we are hoping for. I could care less where Keith Law ranks him. Lets wait until the kid gets back healthy and then to the show before we drop our hopes to a #3 starter. I still have extremely high hopes for him.

Y2JGQ2

He should still end up being better than kingham, so if he fits in between cole and kingham, with morton as a #4 and one of 14 different pitchers at 5, i think we’d be okay

William Wallace

Not to call into his question but why even rank him.He has had major arm surgery and until he comes back healthy which by the way is a large question mark I would asterisk him. Say that if he comes back to where he was last year he would be ranked X.

NMR

So Dylan Bundy dropped in every single ranking this season for something OTHER than the fact that he had his pitching elbow reconstructed?
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Sure. Makes sense.

Kevin_Young

I’ll say Bundy was placed where he was in large part because he reached the majors at such a young age. He fell back (and only from the very top to about the top 10) because that relative age wouldn’t be so impressive anymore.

Andrew

The surgery just changes his risk profile, all prospects have risk attached. Personally I think a hard thrower walking almost 5 batters/9 in high A is a absurdly risky prospect, but teams and rankings love upside.

NMR

Don’t you dare say that about Tyler Glasnow.

deacs

Tim – do you think the assessment of Taillon is fair? Not that he ripped him. Was just curious.

deacs

Is the “lack of deception” fixable?

Y2JGQ2

its always fixable……but its a pitching coach thing. doing things like locke, adding a twist, pulling the ball back and hiding it longer……but it comes with the potential price of creating command/control issues, losing velocity, etc

Kevin_Young

Not that I have any problem with where everyone ranks Taillon, but it’s such an obvious case of prospect fatigue. I really don’t see what’s changed about his actual pitching profile.

NMR

Well, other than the ligament holding his throwing arm together…

Kevin_Young

Obviously, and to an extent I agree, but that won’t likely change his profile. Nor does that make Bundy a lesser prospect, or Harvey and Fernandez less valuable pitchers. Also, he was dropping before the injury and without much cause.

NMR

Strongly disagree.
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If Billy Hamilton blew out his knee in AAA, you can guarantee his prospect ranking would suffer. Taillon’s arm is to pitching as Hamilton’s legs are to running. Dylan Bundy was dropped in rankings before climbing back up once he showed he still had his stuff, and Taillon will as well assuming successful rehab. Just how this works.
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As for why he was slipping before the injury, it’s really simple: he just wasn’t dominating as a top pitching prospect should. That’s it. As Pirate fans that understand how they develop pitchers, this shouldn’t worry us at all. But you gotta put yourself in the shoes of these people doing the rankings.

Y2JGQ2

Some pitchers do never come back the same- strasburg for example, never regained that 100MPH fastball…..

Y2JGQ2

if taillon comes back throwing 93/94……he isn’t going to get anyone out unless he magically now has plus movement

Y2JGQ2

And in this case, it wasn’t even a torn tendon leading to the TJ, this was, dare i say, less severe.

NMR

Ugh.

Kevin_Young

They’re also aware of that, as they make note of that in essentially every post about a Pirate pitcher. It certainly makes it more difficult to slot our guys because of that, but again the ranking itself doesn’t bother me.

I’ll agree to disagree on this though. I know where you’re coming from and I understand it, but TJ surgery is not a big deal for a prospect, and as much as I love Glasnow, I’d rather have Taillon in my system over him, but he’s 20 slots behind.

NMR

Couldn’t agree more with you there, Kevin. Excellent point.

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