Jonathan Mayo did a survey among general managers, scouting directors and front office executives, asking them who they thought was the best pitching prospect in baseball. Out of the 20 who responded, Tyler Glasnow received two votes as the best pitcher. Glasnow was one of seven pitchers who received votes and one of only four who received more than one vote.
Quoting the article linked above, one executive compared Glasnow to the top vote-getter, Lucas Giolito of the Washington Nationals:
“I like Giolito’s stuff, more power and more swing-and-miss [pitches], but Glasnow’s delivery and arm action are cleaner and he’s more likely to stay healthy long term,” he said. “If the question is top pitching prospect in baseball right now, then Giolito. If it’s who will have the best Major League career when it’s all said and done, it’s Glasnow.”
That’s strong praise for Glasnow, who should join the Pirates around mid-season this year. He may be the top prospect in the system and one of the best in baseball, but he still needs to work on a few things before making the majors, specifically his command of secondary pitches, holding runners on base and polishing his change-up.
I have seen multiple people worry about his inning total from this season and if he will be able to pitch the entire season, so this is a good spot to address those concerns. Glasnow only threw 109.1 innings during the regular season, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He also made two starts in the playoffs, throwing a total of 11.2 innings, giving him 121 innings during the year. After the playoffs ended, Glasnow went to the Fall Instructional League, where he continued to throw regularly for the next month, playing in actual games during that time. He also threw three bullpens during the season when he was returning from his ankle injury.
All of that throwing is taken into account when figuring out how many innings he can pitch next year, not just his regular season total, which means he can should be able to pitch regularly into October, since he pitched regularly into mid-October this year. You usually hear that young pitchers can add 30-40 innings per year as a guideline, so he should be able to throw upwards of 180 innings this year. Of course, it’s not just a straight up comparison. Pitch count is also taken into account and Glasnow worked hard during some of his AAA innings this year, so there shouldn’t be any worries about his inning limitations in 2016. If the Pirates have any concern, they can start him slower at the beginning of the year, so it doesn’t affect the end of the year.