Today seems to be the day for mid-season top 50 prospect lists. Earlier today, Baseball America released their top 50, with five Pirates making the list. Baseball Prospectus also released their mid-season top 50, and had four Pirates on the list.
Jameson Taillon is the highest rated prospect on the list, coming in at number 26. Taillon was second in the BA rankings, but ranked 24th overall. It seems that, despite his Tommy John surgery, he’s still considered a pitcher with a lot of upside. Taillon did drop a bit, as he was ranked 19th in the pre-season rankings.
Tyler Glasnow was the next ranked prospect, finishing at number 31. That’s a bit of a jump from where he was in the pre-season, when he came in at number 42. Baseball America was higher on Glasnow, having him as the top prospect, and ranked 21st. The BP write-up had the usual stuff on Glasnow, noting his great fastball, and how “the sky is the limit” if he learns to limit walks.
Josh Bell finished third among Pirates on the list, coming in at number 39. That’s a big jump for Bell, who entered the season ranked 77th overall. He’s been having a breakout year at the plate this season, finally showing the offensive potential that netted him a $5 M signing bonus in the 2011 draft. BP said that Bell has another bump in his prospect value on the horizon as he eventually moves up to Altoona.
The final player to make the list was Nick Kingham, who ranked 43rd. Kingham was the 80th ranked prospect by BP coming into the season. BP noted that he doesn’t have the same ceiling as other pitchers in the top 50, but has a high floor and could be a middle of the rotation pitcher. Kingham has been posting some solid numbers in Triple-A, and he could join the team later this year if the Pirates have a need for pitching.
Reese McGuire was also a player listed as being in the top 50 mix. BP has been higher on him than other outlets, so it’s not a surprise that he’d be considered that high. The list doesn’t include 2014 draft picks, although Cole Tucker wasn’t a player who was listed as drawing possible consideration for the list.