The Pittsburgh Pirates have been all over the map in the farm system rankings this year, getting high praise from one source, while ranking very low for another. There has been more of a consensus on their rankings with the latest lists, though they all differ from the two early extremes. MLB Pipeline released their rankings on Monday and they have the Pirates as the 15th best farm system.
The rankings began with Baseball America, where they had the Pirates rated as the 23rd best farm system. All of the rankings since then have been much better.
Fangraphs hasn’t technically released their farm system rankings yet, but they did say that the Pirates had “one of the game’s better systems” due to the high-end talent up top and depth in the system. They also put six Pirates in their top 100 prospects list, so it’s safe to assume that they will place high when Fangraphs posts their system rankings.
There was obviously quite a difference between the first two sources to put out lists. Keith Law posted his list a short time later and split that difference, ranking the Pirates as the 14th best system.
MiLB.com had the most interesting ratings, splitting up offense and pitching, ranking all teams in each category, followed by a farm system ranking for every club. The Pirates rated 14th best among position players, 13th best among pitchers, and 14th for the overall farm system.
With Pipeline’s entry, we now have three rankings that put them right in the middle. Pipeline likes the top-end prospects in their top 100 rankings (Mitch Keller, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz), but they say that there’s a lack of impact talent following those players, though they do have a lot of depth to their prospect list. Pipeline had the Pirates ranked 15th in their mid-season update last year, so they haven’t lost/gained any ground since July.