Keith Law posted his list of the top 25 prospects, who he think will make an impact in the majors in 2016(subscription required). He rates them based on what he thinks they will provide during the 2016 season. Law has Tyler Glasnow ranked tenth and Josh Bell ranked 13th. Interesting to note that he doesn’t think Jameson Taillon will have much of an impact this year, leaving him off the list completely, which also includes ten other names to watch.
Glasnow would rate higher for Law if he wasn’t starting the season in the minors. He thinks that Glasnow would be a better fifth option than Ryan Vogelsong right now. That is possible, though Glasnow did not look major league ready at the end of last year with Indianapolis. On occasion, he was getting by only because of his fastball and impatient AAA hitters. His command was spotty, his change-up was average at best, and he had troubles when runners got on base.
Law may actually be giving him too much credit for 2016, stating that Vogelsong will probably get a few turns, but if he pitches poorly, we could see Glasnow soon. Super two status aside, I don’t think we will see Glasnow until he is ready, regardless of how others are performing in the rotation. The Pirates won’t rush their top prospect to fill a spot, and his performance over 3-4 starts wouldn’t be enough to convince them that he has worked enough on his three main issues.
As for Bell, it’s much the same as Glasnow. Law thinks he might be the best offensive option the Pirates have at first base right now, though he still has things to work on. With the way John Jaso gets on base, if he is just average at defense right now, then he would currently be more valuable than Bell.
This case is a little tougher to figure out than Glasnow, who we will see in mid-June, unless he’s having major command issues. Bell is behind someone who doesn’t have the question marks that Ryan Vogelsong has at this point. So that could give Bell more time to work on his defense, while getting more AAA experience. We won’t see him before early June, but if the Pirates are getting production from first base and Bell is still working on things, that could delay his arrival until later in the year.
With Taillon, he could surprise some people with his production in 2016. A lot will depend on how the Pirates handle his workload. He is probably closer to big league ready than Glasnow, which could give him the better chance to make an impact this year. If his innings are really limited and they ease him back into action though, then that could mean that he won’t make a significant impact before 2017. Without knowing exactly how he will be handled, it’s too hard to pin down his possible impact other than to say he will contribute to the Pirates at some point this year.