Pirates Have Seven Prospects Among the Best at Their Position

Keith Law posted his list of the best prospects at each position (subscription required) on Thursday. He went ten deep for most spots, extending it to 15 for both outfield and shortstop, while going to 20 for starting pitchers. Except for relief pitchers, the Pirates had one player on each of the other seven lists.

For catchers, Reese McGuire is ranked seventh. Only four catchers made the top 100 for Law.

Josh Bell is the third best first baseman. He has been ranked both first and second on other lists.

Alen Hanson is fourth among second baseman. Law only put two second baseman in his top 100.

Despite being ranked 23rd overall, Kevin Newman ranks tenth for shortstops. The reason Law went to 15 for shortstops, is that the position is loaded in the minors. He has the 15th best shortstop ranked 55th in his top 100.

Ke’Bryan Hayes is fourth for third baseman and he just missed the top 100. Despite only three third basemen ranking in the top 100, Law likes the depth of the position, so fourth overall is a strong spot for Hayes.

Austin Meadows is third for outfielders. Because he didn’t break this category up into individual outfield spots, the 15th ranked outfielder is 58th on the top 100, making it a very strong group.

Finally, Tyler Glasnow is third for starting pitchers, and second among right-handed pitchers. You can tell from this group going to 20 spots, that it’s very deep. Law has either shortstops, outfielders or starting pitchers in 50 of his top 59 spots, with Josh Bell (#56) being one of the nine exceptions.

The Pirates didn’t have any relievers in the top ten, though none of the relievers even made Law’s top 100, or his “just missed” list.

Baseball America Starts Their Prospect Rankings

Baseball America has started their list of the best at each position, posting three spots on Tuesday. Not sure when the other spots are going up, so I’m adding the published ones here.

For catchers, they have Reese McGuire seventh and Elias Diaz ninth in their top 20. Same spot as Law for McGuire, but BA got Diaz into their top ten.

For right-handed pitchers, they have Tyler Glasnow third and Jameson Taillon 30th. Those were the only two in the top 100.

No left-handed pitchers from the Pirates made their top 25.

  • HartHighPirate
    February 19, 2016 1:11 pm

    Giolito always aces out Glasnow for No. 1 RHP. Giolito played at a prep high school and had a mediocre AA at Harrisburg later half of 2015 and a barely decent first half at A team Potomac National where I saw him pitch.

    Glasnow’s record at A, AA and AAA are much stronger and he should be No. 1 RHP. In high school he faced much stronger competition playing in the southern CIF Frontier League resulting in being drafted in 2011 by the Bucs.

    • At the end of the day they’re just opinions. There are plenty of pitchers that were ranked lower than others that ended up better.

    • I believe I read somewhere a while ago that Giolito’s main strength is his athleticism that gives him the ability to repeat his delivery consistently. Plus he is supposed to be a ” quick study “. The ability to learn quickly.

    • I remember reading on one of the numerous ranking sites that Giolito was ranked higher, but the author preferred Glasnow long term. For the life of me, I cannot remember the site. I guess I read too much.

  • FWIW:

    SI ranked all the teams….Cards – 13, Bucs – 5 and Cubs – 1. They only have the Royals ranked 10th.

    They say (in part), like the Red Sox and Rangers, the Pirates figure to get stronger as the season goes on thanks to all of their top prospects.

    They say Josh Bell could be an OBP Machine. Glasnow has a chance to make the
    same impact Cole made. And they think Hanson has a chance to be our regular 2bman.

    • Glad to see Jonah Keri writing for SI. I always loved him over at Grantland. He’s always high on the Bucs.

    • In my opinion, you might be able to say the same thing about Taillon.

    • SI seems to hit it well on Football, Hoops, the Olympics, and the Swimsuit Edition, but baseball not so much.

  • It’s a shame Keith Law didn’t have Montana DuRapau on his Top 100 or Just Missed!! Just another year to prove folks wrong!! LOL

  • Does it strike anyone else as inconsistent that he has 20-some SSs in the top 100 but 2 2Bs? Teams have to fill both positions ya know, Keith. It’s like how in basketball now PGs who can score have a huge premium on them historically but thats now probably the deepest position in the NBA while there are like 3 good SGs. I think there’s a strong PG-SG:SS-2B parallel in terms of overvaluing at least from a prospect sense. I think Hanson and Harrison will be sneaky good this year.

    • The answer to me is that SS are usually able to move to 2b if need to, not the other way around.

    • The fact that there are far more SS’s makes perfect sense.

    • It’s because nobody EVER goes through the minors at 2B and then moves to SS, while hundreds of guys have gone through the minors at SS and then moved to 2B in the majors.

  • In hindsight this should’ve been expected, I suppose, but I was really surprised at the success rates I saw when looking back through MLB.com’s positional top tens. Shortstops, outfielders, and pitchers were stacked like you’d expect with many prospects in the back half of the top tens turning into average regulars or better, but the rest of the positions were surprisingly shallow. Only one or two guys from the 2B/3B/C lists typically ended up doing much, and only two first base prospects in *any* list going back to 2010 have produced a single 2 WAR season, if I’m remembering correctly.

    Basically, these top tens are fun but having a bunch of guys placed doesn’t necesarilly bode well in the long run.

  • Some really good shortstop prospects out there. Says a lot when Newman is ranked #23 overall, but only the 10th best shortstop.

  • No left-handed pitchers from the Pirates made their top 25.

    Tim…does this mean that you guys are over-rating Brault and Tarpley since Law didn’t include them either?

    • Just because they’re not one of the best 25 left-handed prospects in all of baseball, does not mean that they’re not good prospects.

    • Not sure I get that logic, since Brault and Tarpley are ranked 13th and 14th in our book. I think one of them would have to be top ten for us to be over-rating them. A total of 25 lefties ranked is less than one per team average and the Braves have five players on the list alone. If it helps, Brault has the same exact rating from BA(45 medium risk) as the 21-23 ranked lefties on their list, so they think he has the same upside as those players.

      Law’s list is only 20 starting pitchers and includes right-handed and lefty pitcher.

    • No, for reasons John pointed out. We’re not saying they’re the best left-handed pitching prospects in baseball. Just that they’re good lefty pitching prospects who could start in the majors in the future.

      Also, why is it always the default that we’re over-rating players? We have some players ranked higher than most, and some players ranked lower than most. Every outlet has at least one player who is ranked much higher than every other outlet. If everyone had to be the same, and if we had to be exactly like specific outlets, there would really be no point to this site and no point for more than one site in general.

      As for Brault/Tarpley, they’re not even guys we’re that much higher on than anyone else. We had Brault 13th and BA had him 15th. We had Tarpley 14th and BA had him 17th. And they had those two slightly lower than we did because they had Willy Garcia and Jordan Luplow ranked higher than them. We had Garcia lower and Luplow much lower.

      Numerical rankings are extremely subjective. The reports tend to be the same across all outlets, with a few exceptions. You get fewer huge differences when you compare reports than when you compare rankings. That’s because everyone could agree on an individual player’s stuff and upside, but everyone will value that stuff and upside much differently. Rankings are fun, but it’s the reports you want to focus on and compare across outlets.

      • I don’t think I’ve ever stated that you’re over-rating our prospects. Sorry, if you took that from my question.

        • Btw, “Great” answer. 🙂

        • I’m pretty sure you have with Hanson…

        • I don’t mean every single prospect. But your question was whether we were over-rating those two.

          What I’m saying is that there are always going to be situations where we have guys higher, and the default question asked in those situations shouldn’t be whether we are over-rating the guys, like the question above. If we avoid the potential to “over-rate” someone, then all we’re doing is participating in group think, where we never have a different opinion on a prospect.

          As it stands with Brault/Tarpley, we seem to be on the same page as BA and everyone else with their upsides.

      • It’s almost as if we should be using tiered rankings instead of numerical. 🙂

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