Ranking the Pittsburgh Pirates Farm System

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

 The Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system has fluctuated in rankings this season. Looking to get an accurate gage on where the system should rank based on the MLB.com rankings.


The Pittsburgh Pirates ranked seventh in the preseason ranking. Tyler Glasnow ranked as the eighth best prospect in the game and Austin Meadows followed at number nine. Josh Bell at 27 and Mitch Keller at 48 gave the Pirates four top 50 ranked prospects. Kevin Newman came in just shy of the top 50 at rank 59. Based off of these numbers, the Pirates ranked fourth place in the prospect points ranking.

Prospect points give you more points the higher your prospects rank. The highest rated prospect is worth 100 points and each position under him decreases by a point. Glasnow earned the Pirates 91 points. Overall, the Pirates received 382 prospect points. This total outranked the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres which all finished ahead of Pittsburgh in the overall rankings.

Pittsburgh’s five top 100 also outranked the Padres four and tied the Brewers and Dodgers. Glasnow, Pittsburgh’s highest rated prospect ranked better than the top prospect for each of the previously mentioned teams. Giving Pittsburgh a bit of a lower ranking than they deserved.


In the midseason rankings, the Pirates fell out of the top ten. Bell and Glasnow graduating from the list hit the Pirates pretty hard. Losing two top 30 guys will hurt your ranking. Now three remaining Pirates prospects rank in the top 100. The total prospect points score took a dive to 174 points from 382. This number is the 13th best mark. Austin Meadows stayed in the ranking but dropped to number 20. Keller ranks 22 now, up from 48. 2017 First round pick, Shane Baz entered the list at number 84. The Pirates three prospects in the top 100 are lower than every team in the top ten.

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Oakland is the next lowest total with four and they rank sixth. The A’s highest prospect is Franklin Barreto at number 37. Following that is A.J. Puk at 39 and Dustin Fowler at 77. Oakland’s last top 100 guy is at number 91. Under close comparison, the two team seem pretty equal as far as top 100 prospects, but Oakland just has one more to put them ahead. Pittsburgh’s prospects scored 174  prospect points against Oakland’s 160.

Oakland has the stronger system in terms of top 30 player ratings on a 20-80 scale against Pittsburgh through. So I would say Oakland stays in the top ten over Pittsburgh.

A far as how the Pirates fare against the rest of the top ten isn’t much better. Even with Meadow’s ranking higher than a lot of teams best prospects it just isn’t enough.  The sure number of prospects other top ten teams in the top 100 is dooming Pittsburgh.


Right now I think Pittsburgh is most likely an 12, or 13 on the prospect lists. They have a few strong prospects, but the depth is lacking in the lower prospect rankings. Teams graduating players may help sneak the Pirates into the top ten. Conversely, when Meadows, Keller, and Newman graduate the system may plummet a good bit. For now, the system remains in good shape, with room to go up, or down.