Pittsburgh Pirates: Fangraphs Releases Top 100 Prospects

Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

Eric Longenhagen published the Fangraph’s official Top 100 prospects of 2017 list on Monday. The Pittsburgh Pirates found multiple minor league prospects and major league ones on the list.

Longenhagen bases his rankings on multiple facets, including the famed 20-80 scale, industry sources, observations, and he based all prospects on a quality called “Future Value.” Six members of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization cracked Longenhagen’s list. This includes a Top 5 appearance from OF Austin Meadows (#5).

Other Pirates on the list include SP Tyler Glasnow (26), SP Mitch Keller (46), 1B Josh Bell (50), INF Kevin Newman (83), and 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (99).

Longenhagen also organized a list of those “In Consideration” for his rankings, but no Pirates players were listed.

The Pirates have worked to build this farm system from one of the worst to best in baseball. They have been fortunate that many of their prospects have panned out. But the Pirates have not had a prospect that was as sure fire as Austin Meadows is, and that includes the grooming of Andrew McCutchen. Meadows is a four out of five tool player and he’s only pending the logjam that is the Pirates current outfield clearing up.

Top Pitching Talent

We have seen flashes of Tyler Glasnow in Pittsburgh, and he certainly has front line stuff – including an elite fastball and curveball. His listing as one of the top pitching prospects certainly fits him, as he will make an impact in Pittsburgh in 2017.

Mitch Keller will lead the crop of starting pitching depth beyond Glasnow and Jameson Taillon. Most Pittsburgh Pirates fans probably don’t know much about him yet, but should get to. The former second round pick (2014) went 9-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 24 starts in between Low and High A in 2016. Look for Keller to continue to develop as one of the top pitching prospects in the Pirates organization.

Next: Top Prospects 30-25

Top Hitting Talent

From a guy who Pirates fans may not be so familiar with to a guy who most, if not all, Pirates fans are well aware of. Josh Bell has raw power that could develop, but his tools already profile him as a solid contact hitter with the ability to grow as that 25-30 home run guy.

Kevin Newman is the most intriguing prospect on this list in my eyes because of his ability to shift between shortstop and second base. His versatility in the field should make him a fast mover, unless the organization sees him as the shortstop of the future behind Jordy Mercer.

Lastly, we see the former first rounder (2015) in Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes still resides in A-ball and is still very raw in talent. One thing that is impressive is his walk rate (1.84 K/BB), and his approach should carry him throughout his career as long as he develops on his hit and speed tools.

Next: Top Prospects 24-19

Keep in mind, that this list is just that – a list. These rankings should not be taken as “Well this guy will be the _th best player in the MLB some day.” Think of this list as a comparison to the rest of the talent in the league. The Pirates farm system has loads of talent, and every top prospect doesn’t necessarily translate to a successful big league player.

You can read Longenhagen’s full list of Top 100 Prospects and player bios here.

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Corey Crisan is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Rum Bunter on the FanSided family of networks. Follow him on twitter @cdcrisan.