As the season approaches, many national baseball sites are starting to put out their top prospect lists. So far Baseball America and now Baseball Prospectus have put out their Top Ten Pittsburgh Pirates prospect list.
Baseball Prospectus is a well-regarded site for baseball information. They especially do a really solid job with their analysis of prospects and draft prospects. Entering 2016 Baseball Prospectus ranked pitcher Tyler Glasnow as the best prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates system. They also had shortstop prospect Kevin Newman ranked as the Pittsburgh Pirates #4 overall prospect. This was the highest ranking for Newman by any site entering the 2016 season. Interestingly enough, Baseball Prospectus nailed their aggressive rankings as Newman was a hitting machine entering 2016 and flew up the prospect rankings. The full list was as followed: Glasnow, Meadows, Taillon, Newman, Bell, Harold Ramirez, Reese McGuire, Tucker, Hayes, and Keller. This list remains very similar for 2017. Obviously Ramirez and McGuire find themselves with a new organization, and of course, Jameson Taillon no longer has prospect status.
Jeff Paternostro and the BP staff put together the Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 prospect list. The list mainly is made up of a lot of familiar names from the 2016 list. Of course, players like Will Craig, are newer to the system and were not added last year. Here is the 2017 Pittsburgh Pirates top 10 prospects list according to Baseball Prospects:
RHP Tyler Glasnow
1B/OF Josh Bell
RHP Mitch Keller
SS Kevin Newman
3B Will Craig
SS Cole Tucker
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
LHP Steven Brault
LHP Braeden Ogle
The Top Two
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This year’s list sees Austin Meadows lead the pack. Meadows absolutely crushed Double-A pitching last year and was pushed to Triple-A at the end of last season. Meadows did struggle at Triple-A, but he also battled injuries during the end of the season. Tyler Glasnow falls to #2 overall. This is more about how scouts feel about Meadows than Glasnow. In most systems, Glasnow would find himself number one, but Meadows’ rising status is hard to outshine.
Two Young Arms
Meanwhile, Mitch Keller jumps six spots compared to the 2016 list. Keller arguably had the best season out of any 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect. He will start in High-A and if he performs well will quickly find himself in Double-A. The last player of note is #10 on the list. If you are an average fan you may not know his name yet. Braeden Ogle was the Pittsburgh Pirates fourth round pick in the 2016 draft. He is a lefty pitcher who was drafted out of a Florida High School. Ogle, who has been clocked as high as 96 in the Gulf Coast League last year, has a ton of upside. He could very well be a big time prospect for the Bucs. He pitched in 27.2 innings last season and posted a 2.6 ERA.
However, this is a bit aggressive of Baseball Prospectus. Although Ogle was an over-slot signing, he still is very raw and has a lot to prove before being considered a top ten prospect. That spot would have been better served to be given to a player like Elias Diaz or Yeudy Garcia. Really though it should have been Nick Kingham. Kingham was a top 100 prospect pre-Tommy John surgery and still very deserving to be viewed as a top prospect. What are your thoughts on the list? Comment below!