Nick Kingham Just Misses Top 100, Tyler Glasnow’s Fastball Ranks Near the Top

Keith Law posted his top 100 prospects on Thursday and the list had five players from the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Saturday, he listed ten players that just missed his top 100 and Nick Kingham made that group. Law believes that Kingham will be in the Majors soon and stay around for a long time as an “undervalued fourth starter type”. We profiled Kingham on Friday, naming him the sixth best prospect in the Pirates system. On Friday’s top 100 prospect show, MLB.com ranked Kingham 74th overall and also had him as the sixth best prospect in the system.

Speaking of the MLB.com top 100, Jim Callis rated the tools of all the prospects on the list. Tyler Glasnow got an honorable mention for the best fastball. Back in November, Glasnow was credited with the best curve in the Arizona Fall League by Jonathan Mayo, who worked with Jim Callis on the top 100 prospects list for MLB.com. Both of Glasnow’s pitches have been called “plus-plus” by scouts this off-season.

  • If Glasnow can develop a change to go with his heat and his curve we will get that true ace fans have been waiting for. This kid WILL be better than both JT and Cole.

  • So… unless I am not understanding what I’m reading we are waiting for basically another Locke and Cumpton in terms of talent.

    • Well……Kingham is looked at as way more of a horse than either Locke or Cumpton, better stuff and better frame to be an innings eater. Kingham’s strikeout rate dropped because of a fastball decline last year. he dropped about 3-4 mph and that definitely has made him go from a strong 3 to a 4, but hopefully that can be gained back with a little luck and off-season program?

  • MLB.com and Baseball America are the two sources I value the highest. I am always in disagreement with Keith Law and I am here. Kingham belongs in the top 100 in my opinion. If he believes he will have a long major league career as a #4 type pitcher and he is close to being ready, then I’m not sure why he isn’t in his top 100.

    • cs: Good point – the simple side of this is that MLB and BA dedicate themselves 100% to the game of Baseball; ESPN is primarily a Football/Basketball network that may put 5% of their effort into Baseball. Like Fox, ESPN will also broadcast some baseball games, but they are not expert by any means.

      • I disagree with his rankings a lot, but Keith Law isn’t one of those ESPN guys that covers everything. He’s strictly a baseball man and has a great background in it, working four years in the Blue Jays front office and he’s in his ninth year of baseball writing since then.

        • Lee Foo Young
          February 2, 2015 8:32 am

          John…I am with you 100%. The problem I have with Baseball America is that John Perotto does the ratings. I prefer Mayo, Williams and Law for my Pirate ratings. Perotto’s a hack.

        • If you read Law a lot you’ll notice, he even says it himself, he tends to value players with higher ceilings in his rankings. Kingham has a very high floor but his ceiling probably isn’t too much higher. So while Kingham may end up more productive than some guys on the list, the projection/ceilings of those guys may have give them the edge. I think its’s more prospective than a knock on Kingham himself

      • That’s not fair to law at all. He puts in a lot of time making these lists and strictly covers baseball. He tends to favor upside, and give less weight to floor ,more than most, and it shows here. Number four upside is not flashy so he has kingham lower than others.

    • My sense is that Kingham’s relatively low strikeout rate keeps him from being viewed as a higher-end prospect. But since the Pirates teach their young pitchers to focus on fastballs and strike zone command early in their careers, Kingham’s strikeout rate seems likely to climb as he works in his off-speed pitches. If/when that happens, Kingham’s stock should rise quickly.

      I am no scout, of course, but I like Kingham’s chances of becoming a starter better than Glasnow’s. Glasnow has such a pronounced control problem, while Kingham’s control is already very good. Kingham has velocity, control and (hopefully) the off-speed stuff to enjoy a great career.

      • The problem with Kingham fitting that narrative is that his strikeout rate has *dropped* as his career has progressed and offspeed pitches have been added to his repertoire.

      • Well they are both going to be starters, it’s just a matter of 1. for how long and 2. how effective will they be

    • I disagree. I think Law is one of the best in the business and hold his opinion in high regard. I don’t think Kingham belongs in the top 100. Close but not there yet.

    • If you read Law a lot you’ll notice, he even says it himself, he tends to value players with higher ceilings in his rankings. Kingham has a very high floor but his ceiling probably isn’t too much higher. So while Kingham may end up more productive than some guys on the list, the projection/ceilings of those guys may have give them the edge.

  • So, is Glasnow’s floor barring a serious injury a back end of the bullpen type, with a very good 2 pitch combo?

    • That would be his floor. He needs some work on his change and his control, but he’s still 21, so he should far exceed that floor.

      • Lee Foo Young
        February 2, 2015 8:33 am

        I am hoping the control/command comes around, that’s for sure.

      • Ian Rothermund
        February 3, 2015 6:48 am

        If he can get a handle on that change, it would really take a huge leap forward. Look at Burnett though….how many change ups does he realistically throw during a game, and he’s done ok for himself.

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