The USA Today published 100 Names You Need To Know For 2016 and four Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguers made the list.
The names are not a surprise to any Pirates fan: RHP Tyler Glasnow, 1B Josh Bell, RHP Jameson Taillon and OF Austin Meadows.
The one thing noticeable on this list is that a majority of the players will start the season on a Major League roster. That is not the case for the Pirates.
Although it is not out of the question that Glasnow, Bell or Taillon could be in a Pirates uniform sometime in 2016, it is highly unlikely it will be in April.
Glasnow was ranked highest on the list at 21 with Bell right behind him at 22. Both these players have been successful at every level they have played in the Pirates system and could be in Pittsburgh as early as June. Both need to perform again in AAA, but what happens at their respective positions at the major league level will also be an influence.
The shaky end of the rotation could force the Pirates to bring up Glasnow or if there is a major injury to either Gerrit Cole or Francisco Liriano.
Bell sits behind a righty/left platoon of Michael Morse and John Jaso. If they excel, the Bucs will most likely keep Bell in Indianapolis.
Of course, the Super 2 deadline looms in June which is another reason a lot of major league teams keep players in the minors to avoid starting their MLB clocks and getting an extra season of a player getting paid the league minimum.
Taillon is coming off an injury, but could still break into the Pirates rotation although it is more likely that happens in the late summer as he only has six starts in AAA. Meadows is the least likely to impact the big club as he will start the season in AA Altoona.