Pittsburgh Pirates Top 30 Prospects: Ranking from 30-25
#30, Outfielder, Barret Barnes
Barret Barnes was a compensation first round pick in 2012. He became the Pittsburgh Pirates top pick to sign that year when they failed to agree to terms with Mark Appel. Barnes was a collegiate hitter who soared up draft boards after anchoring the Texas Tech lineup in 2012. The Pirates invested a high pick in Barnes because of his athleticism and power potential. Barnes was slowed by injuries his first three years as a Pittsburgh Pirates prospect. However, Barnes has played 219 games over the last two years showing he may have matured out of the injury issues.
Barnes put together his best season in the minors by posting a .306/.377/.477 slash line. Although his age was considered league average for Double-A, it was still a positive season. This year Barnes will start in the Triple-A outfielder. Going forward, he likely projects more as a fourth outfielder. He has good speed, can play all three outfield positions, gets on base, and has good pop. However, with his injury issues in the past, he may not get a chance to develop fully. Also, he is simply blocked by the current outfield group and top prospect Austin Meadows.
#29, Shortstop, Stephen Alemais
Stephen Alemais was the Pittsburgh Pirates third round pick in 2016. He became the third shortstop to be taken in the top three rounds by the Pirates since 2014 (Cole Tucker and Kevin Newman). Alemais was drafted purely on his defensive ability. When drafted, he was noted by MLB Pipeline for his ability to make “highlight plays,” and that is why he likely would be one of the highest picked college shortstops. Overall, Alemais has the tools to stay at short. He is quick laterally and has a very strong arm that can be utilized on backhanded plays.
The big question around Alemais will be if he will develop any offense. In his 50 minor league games last year, Alemais posted a slash line of .249/.286/.306. These numbers are very underwhelming, specifically in the slugging department. However, with leaving school, he has been able to dedicate more time to his training. This off-season he posted numerous videos on twitter of him working out with Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, this can only help. If anything, training with two fantastic hitters should help his offense. If he can get his offensive stats up to around league average, he very well could be an everyday shortstop. Assuming not, his glove likely will still get him to the big leagues as a bench player.