Baseball America updated their farm system rankings to include draft picks on Thursday and the Pittsburgh Pirates saw a drop from their preseason rankings, despite having five top 100 prospects in the latest BA update.
The Pirates ranked third in the preseason rankings when they had Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras among the top 100 prospects in the game. Both players have graduated from prospect status this year, as well as numerous other lower tier prospects like Jack Suwinski, Cal Mitchell and Diego Castillo. Even with draft picks added, including Termarr Johnson ranking tops in the system now (44th overall), the Pirates dropped to ninth in the mid-season organizational rankings.
While ninth is still a strong farm system ranking, the Pirates got jumped in the rankings by two NL Central teams, the Cincinnati Reds (seventh preseason/fifth mid-season) and St Louis Cardinals, who leaped from 22nd to seventh. That Cardinals ranking is impressive considering that they didn’t draft high this year and they were buyers at the trade deadline, trading with the Pirates. That’s all from development.
The Baltimore Orioles hold the top spot, and they are followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cleveland (3rd), Arizona Diamondbacks (4th), Texas Rangers (6th) and New York Mets (8th) are the other clubs ahead of the Pirates. The other two NL Central teams rank 13th (Milwaukee Brewers) and 16th (Chicago Cubs).