It is that time of the year again! MLB Pipeline is starting to put out their top prospect lists, which includes their positional rankings. The Pittsburgh Pirates will have plenty of prospects from their minor league clubs making appearances on these lists.
Starting off, MLB Pipeline released their Top Ten Right Handed Pitching Prospect list. Entering the 2016 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates only had one righty ranked in the top 10. This was Tyler Glasnow who ranked number 2 overall behind Lucas Giolito. The name missing from last year’s list was former number 2 overall pick, Jameson Taillon. The reason being he was returning from Tommy John surgery and hernia surgery. Many scouts did not know how he would respond to missing essentially two years of competitive baseball. However, he did receive an honorable mention.
Entering the 2017 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have seen many of their pitching prospects graduate to the Majors. A player like Jameson Taillon, who was absolutely brilliant in the minors and majors last year, does not qualify. However, Tyler Glasnow still does qualify as a prospect. In fact, he once again is the only Pittsburgh Pirates prospect ranked on the list. Here is the full list from MLB Pipeline:
Alex Reyes, STL Cardinals
Tyler Glasnow, PIT Pirates
Lucas Giolito, CHI White Sox
Michael Kopech, CHI White Sox
Francis Marte, HOU Astros
Anderson Espinoza, SD Padres
Brent Honeywell, TB Rays
Jose De Leon, LA Dodgers
Jeff Hoffman, COL Rockies
Reynaldo Lopez, CHI White Sox
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Also included in the list are write ups about each prospect. The write ups are basically scouting reports on each prospect. The team at MLB Pipeline puts these reports together. Jonathan Mayo is the main person from MLB Pipeline who covers the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects. It is likely that he came up with most of the scouting report on Glasnow. Here is what MLB Pipeline thinks of Tyler Glasnow:
"“Still just 23 for nearly all of the 2017 season, Glasnow has the pure stuff and the body to be a frontline starter. He has a mid-to-upper-90s fastball that serves as an out pitch in and out of the zone at times, though he averaged about a 94 mph heater during his time with Pittsburgh last year. His breaking ball can also miss bats, but he continued to be inconsistent with it in terms of landing it for a strike. His changeup has improved, though it’s still his third offering. While his delivery is clean, minor mechanical issues are common for pitchers his size, leading to command issues.”“There were times in the big leagues where it appeared that Glasnow was trying to be too fine and didn’t trust his stuff. There will always be walks to contend with, but if he can go after Major League hitters like he did with opponents in the Minors, he should find more consistent success at the highest level.”"
Although many Pittsburgh Pirates fans are down on Tyler Glasnow, it seems they should not be. MLB Pipeline is arguably the best site to use when looking into prospects from a fans perspective. They have a great staff, which is led by Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, who are both well-respected for their ability to project talent. It seems that MLB Pipeline believes Glasnow’s struggles last year was more or less a result of the rookie jitters. They believe that he does indeed have the stuff to succeed at the MLB level, but he needs to learn to trust it and to use it against big league hitters.
Tyler Glasnow is still ranked as the number two right-handed pitching prospect. Pittsburgh Pirates fans need to realize that he still holds a lot of value, whether it is as a future rotation piece for the Pirates, or in a trade. Either way, it seems scouts are still enamored by the big righty, and that is a positive sign going forward.