Pirates Have Seven in MLB.com’s Mid-Season Top 100 Prospects List

MLB.com has released their mid-season top 100 prospects update, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have seven on the list. That’s the second highest amount, falling right behind the Chicago Cubs, who had the most with eight.

The highest ranked prospect was Tyler Glasnow, who came in rated 20th overall. Glasnow was also the top prospect in the system in MLB.com’s updated Pirates top 20. After Glasnow came Jameson Taillon at number 32, Josh Bell at number 33, and Austin Meadows as the final player in the top 50, coming in at number 50.

Nick Kingham was ranked 66th overall, taking the fifth spot on the top 20 list. Alen Hanson and Reese McGuire were the final Pirates on the list, being ranked 80th and 81st overall, respectively.

The top 20 didn’t offer many surprises in the top ten, with Harold Ramirez, Cole Tucker, and Mitch Keller rounding out the list. JaCoby Jones was a noteworthy prospect in the 11-20 group, coming in at number 12. MLB still has Barrett Barnes in the top 20, despite a poor injury history that has limited development. They have Adrian Sampson ranked 19th overall, with the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter. Along with Tucker and Keller, the Pirates had two other 2014 draft picks in the top 20. Trey Supak came in at 11th, and Connor Joe was rated 18th.

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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All of the rankings seem pretty fair, but Bell is higher than I thought he’d be.


Did a little bit of quick research and I think it’s notable that there are only 3 players in the entire top 50 that are not international signings (6), first round draft picks (31), supplemental first rounders (7) or 2nd rounders (Bell, Norris, Hedges). Glasnow (5th rd), Betts (5th rd) and Pederson (11th rd) stand alone.
Think it speaks both to the fact that the Pirates did a great job identifying 2 of the top 6 top 50 prospects that were drafted after the first supplemental round and that the Pirates really need to keep hitting on late 1st round draft picks since I hope they won’t be enjoying any that are too high for the foreseeable future.

Kenny Moore

Glasnow is rated to low in my opinion. I refuse to believe there are 19 minor league prospects better than him. I would also put Bell as our second best prospect even f JT was healthy. I truly believe Glasnow is a top 10 and could be rated higher. Glasnow could end up being better than Cole once he gets to the major. His future is limitless.

Simon Weaver

Glasnow is one of the best prospects I have seen in my life. It’s more than McCutchen. I saw neither of them play one MILB game. He should be the #1 prospect in the game. As for the other guys, exactly how I have them. I expect Taillon to just kill it next year, he’s a big ole’ flapjack lovin’ Texas lumberjack. And the reason I veto trades right now as while me and MLB are on the same page, the Pirates might be clouted by love of Reese McGuire or someone who is kinda “average” and put more stock in him and be dumb and not put enough stock in Josh Bell or someone like that. If you see NH in public, steal his phone. He’ll get the message


If you didn’t see Glasnow or Cutch in the minors, how can you say Glasnow is a better prospect than he was? And as good as he is, no way he’s the best prospect in baseball


People always talk about prospects on this site as though they were mundane chattel. That is understandable, given the nature of baseball trades and other methods of talent acquisition (like the draft). But Tim, as you well know as a talent evaluator, these (players) are real people, with real life stories. I think the fact that Tyler Glasnow has become the Pirates TOP rated prospect, bespeaks to the Pirates’ organization’s desire to be AHEAD of the curve (in their industry) when it comes to player development. As a side note: A’s All-star Brandon Moss is publicly crediting Pirates coach Jeff Branson as the one who FIXED the holes in his swing and taught him how to hit for consistent power. He says that the Pirates Brass and later the Phillies would not give him another chance to show what he could do at the big league level. Only Oakland would give him another shot.

After each pitch at Hart High in Newhall, Calif., Pirates scout Rick Allen peered at his radar gun and saw what other scouts saw: an 80-something mph fastball. One by one, each fellow scouts shook their heads “NOTHING HERE” and departed for their cars to Interstate 5, which winds south to Los Angeles. “At some of the games I was at lookin at this kid, scouts would be leaving in the third inning,” Allen said. “In Southern California, there are so many games, so many players. We’d bounce from game to game to game. I saw a lot of traffic…a lot of big league scouts leaving the park. I just decided that I was going to stick with him.”

Allen was watching a 16-year-old high school junior named Tyler Glasnow. He had a wire-thin, 6-7, 180-pound frame and with just an 83 mph fastball. He was not invited to participate in the elite amature baseball showcase circuits. But Allen stayed with him. The Pirates drafted Glasnow in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. Allen signed him for $600,000.

“What the Pirates have taught me, basically, is, ‘Let’s go out and find guys we can mold.’ It doesn’t have to be the perfect delivery, but if it’s workable and the kid is athletic … we can make him better. It’s really a great job by our player development staff,” Allen said. “The size, 6-foot-7, the loose arm and being just 17 at the draft, you just dream on it.”

Identifying a projectable arm is one thing. Development is the other key aspect.

“I didn’t know that he would become as good as he is now (had he went to college) because we did a such good job developing him,” Allen said. “But if he was in the (2014) Draft…he’s an upper first-round pick.”

Glasnow still was throwing only 83 to 88 mph early in his professional debut in the 2012 Gulf Coast League.

“One game, I was working with the pitching coordinators,” Glasnow said. “I used to be real full circle, long, in my motion. They shortened me up to get a quicker arm. … The next start I went out and I hit 94 (mph) for the first time. The next game I hit 96.”

Last season at West Virginia, his fastball reached 99 mph. At just age 20, He could end up throwing even harder. He throws almost as hard as Gerrit Cole does right now (who the Pirates gave $8 million in Draft signing bonus money). He just overwhelmed Low-A hitters, striking out 164 batters in 111 innings.

Glasnow also is gaining strength and size. This spring, he’s 6-foot-7, 230 pounds. He projects to be a No. 1 starter in the big leagues by 2016

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