The Pirate deep farm system continues to receive accolades in the recent MLB.com prospects list and this time it’s Josh Bell who is recognized.
Jim Callis has Bell listed as the No. 2 first base prospect in the minors and this might be the most important prospect for the Pirates since Gerrit Cole.
The Bucs hope Bell can fill a black hole at first base, where 15 players have played the position in the recent three-year playoff run. The team has gotten below-average production from the position, yet still has found ways to make the post-season during that stretch.
Bell is 23 years old and has been in the Pirates system since he was drafted in 2011 out of high school. With an already crowded outfield, the front office made a move in 2014 switching Bell from an outfielder to a first baseman. Obviously, the team knew there would be a need at the position and are now hoping Bell can fill that need. It could be this season if he continues to make strides in Indianapolis where he played 35 games last season and came away with a .347/.441/.504 split.
The Pirates are confident Bell, who was a three-sport athlete at Dallas Jesuit, will be solid defensively and will grow into the power hitter that they have needed at that position for years.