Glasnow Climbs Higher Up Keith Law’s Prospect Rankings

Keith Law has posted his latest update of the top prospects in the game(for ESPN Insiders) and he now has Pittsburgh Pirates’ RHP Tyler Glasnow as the sixth best prospect in the minors. The new list includes draft picks, with Brendan Rodgers being the only 2015 pick in his top ten. The interesting thing about that placement is that Law was very high on Pirates’ first round pick Kevin Newman, ranking him only behind Rodgers in this draft class.

Glasnow was #9 back on May 26th when Law posted his top 25 rankings. That list also had Austin Meadows and Jameson Taillon, so it’s quite possible that if Law posted an updated 25, he would have four Pirates on it.

Glasnow will make a rehab start tonight for Morgantown, in a game that should also include the pro debut of Newman, as well as some other 2015 draft picks.

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Nobody from the farm system? Only Cutch, Marte, Polanco, Alvarez, Walker, Mercer, Cole, Hughes, and Watson. And Kang probably counts there, too. Plus guys who were acquired from other organizations while still in the minors. Harrison, Locke, Morton, and Caminero come to mind.

This is not like football, guys take years to progress from amateurs to the majors. To have 7 regulars, your best starter, and more than half a dozen other guys developed wholly or in part from your farm system is very good for a contender.


A very short and not so good outing tonight for Glasnow – only went 1 and a third – gave up 3 runs, 2 earned. Was he pulled because of pitch count, or did he have an injury of some sort?


He threw 39 pitches I believe in 1.1 IP. YIKES! But…he did get his heater up to 97 mph and got his work in. Not what you wanted to see though for sure.


Although Glasnow has pitched well this year before the injury, I would assume his move up the list is probably more of a result of so many prospects “graduating” from the list….


Jared: Keen observation. There was a thing on MLB a few days ago with Brian Kenny, Richard Justice and a few others talking about how the mindset of MLB has changed over the past 10 or 15 years. Where it was always thought that moving a kid too early could hurt his overall development, that has changed to where a lot of clubs believe that the individual’s talent and skills will help him overcome the quick moves upward, and early promotions will actually help the player in his overall development.

The Pirates are not at that point right now, but there are no obvious openings in that lineup either. There are clubs that promote to the majors from AA as well as AAA, and if the Pirates were one of those clubs, promotion from AA to AAA would not be a prerequisite for promotion to the majors. Winning sure does help to smooth out the difficulties.


I think it’s funny that we can be having this conversation while also acknowledging how many guys are saying the jump from AAA to the Majors is harder than ever.

No correlation, I’m sure…


I guess it is more, for me, that I look at our rosters up and down the system and I see some holes where certain prospects who are actually producing a level below would fill those holes and the next man up would be able to move up as well. Look at the terrible situation at 1B in AAA as an example.


I was thinking maybe 5 in his top 50 with Bell but unless he has Hanson in his top 100 I don’t see anymore than 5 total on the top 100 list.


I love the makeup of Glasnow and if the improved BB numbers we were seeing were legit, this kid could be a really, really special pitcher for us. We’ve seen what Garrit Cole is becoming…imagine Glasnow becoming something similar. Even if it is a couple years from now. How incredible that would be.

As a side note: it amazes me how slow the Pirates are to move their prospects. Look around baseball now…look at the recent AA promotions to MLB and look at Schwarber making his MLB debut in one year. Incredible things are happening and we seem to promote rather slow.

Luke S

I would also look at the overall number of guys that go from AA to MLB and realize how rare it is in the overall span of promotions. One can readily remember the handful of AA guys that show up and make the highlight reels, but it doesnt happen over and over again for a reason. Most guys arent develop enough to make a big impact and sustain success.

Richard H

I like that the pirates develop the prospects at a slow rate. Being a small market team let’s get 6.5 of the players best years (24-29 years of age). Then let the big money clubs overpay for the 30+ year old guys. Bucs can’t afford to pay for the Cole type players after the 6.5 years are up. They never can pay $20+ million a year so get a players best years.

Developing slowly is the way to go for the Pirates. Even better when they get extra years like they did with Cutch and Marte.


There’s other HS guys that made the jump rather quickly like Machado, Harper, Trout, Jose Fernandez but those guys are special cases. As dominant as Glasnow has been I would imagine they want him to keep the walks down for a significant period of time. I still think a June 2016 is well within reach.


Schwarber was a polished college bat so I don’t think you can compare him to Glasnow. Although you could be talking about the organization as a whole being slow. But if Newman hits I would think he’d make his jump at a much faster rate than a Bell, Taillon, Glasnow who are top HS prospects. Newman could follow a Alvarez/Cole path of being in the majors two summers after he was drafted – summer of 2017 maybe? But after watching Polanco this past year not hit the ground running, when he was incredible in AAA, I don’t mind the extra AB’s.


Yes, it was more an example of the organization as a whole. And, yes, certainly Schwarber is an extremely polished bat. However, look at the numbers Bell is putting up, despite not developing the power we’d like. I would, honestly, imagine that Bell would probably hit as well as any bench player we currently have in the majors in the bigs right now. And, yes, I understand the 1B thing. But Pedro isn’t a standout 1B and has improved with the help of the major league staff. I am not saying Bell should be in the majors but I just think the organization is a little slow overall in promoting the prospects. Cole has taken some time to develop in the bigs, but I think that will happen to any prospect.


if you think alvarez is bad, you should see bell……i wasn’t exaggerating when i said your average high school first baseman looks better. people think i was just saying that….i’m not. Simple stuff like where to stand on the base, doing a stretch to catch the ball, etc…..are completely alien to him having never played infield


That bad huh? I never would’ve guessed it was that bad because, I mean, he has been getting a lot of work over there. Where to stand on the base?! Yikes!


he will get better. He is athletic and smart enough to learn, but it’s like asking a wide receiver to learn how to play running back, its a way bigger change than you’d imagine. People just have to realize that he’d be such a liability at first base at AAA, that it could really put undo pressure on him and really hurt his development. The brights are dimmer in Altooona, let him figure it out there. The rest of this season and winter ball, and then he’ll be able to go to indi in the spring


Bell is also struggling playing defense. This is his first year learning a new position. Asking him to make a jump from AA to MLB with less than a couple of months at AAA and handle a new defensive position is a little much to expect.


Oh, I said I don’t think he should be in the majors. I do think he should be in AAA though.


Pirates only use AAA for fine tuning, not for core development


I hear you. Cole’s offspeed stuff was definitely not completely polished when he came up. I feel like he threw 95% fastballs against the Giants that first game. And I’m sure Machado, Trout, etc. had their holes too. I do think the Rodon and Schwarber promotions are more the exception however. The Pirates have their checklists and even though I’m as impatient as the next guy, especially in June (promotion season) I trust the Pirates.


It seems to me, and I am probably wrong on this but it is just how it feels when you look at our major league roster, that we’ve picked up other teams project pitchers and been more successful than we have been successful with our own prospect development. McCutchen was already really here when the regime took over. There is Marte. Pedro is an interesting case. Walker was already here too. Polanco hasn’t gotten there yet, although I think he will. Gerrit Cole is Gerrit Cole and that’s looking darn good right now. Brock Holt would have been a nice piece to our roster right now. Anyways, like I said it is just a feeling, but the roster looks more like keen pickups than really developed prospects.


I think a lot of this has to do with the Pirates drafting so many high school guys to fill out the top of their system. Mercer, Cole, and Alvarez have made it up, but those guys came out of college. The first couple drafts, I think the front office was still sussing out their scouting and their strategy. 2010, to me, is when things started coming together for them. And I think we’ll be seeing the fruits of that draft this year and next. 2011 next year and the year after, and so on. And that’s a pretty good time frame for kids coming out of high school. This year’s draft has some advanced players in it, though, so you’ll probably see them a bit quicker.


You’re absolutely correct, Jared, especially on the pitching side of things.

One of the most impressive aspects of how this management group turned the franchise around has been the fact that they’ve done it with Big League acquisitions, not just internal development. That most certainly was not expected.

Huntington has evolved so much since Year 1, and that is an excellent sign.


Actually, they’ve done it almost exclusively with Big League additions rather than internal development. There is not a lot on the ML roster derived from our prospect development.

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