Pittsburgh Pirates: Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects for 2018
It is that time of the year again when major sites start to release their top prospect lists. Baseball America is the first one to release their top 100 prospects for the 2018 season. How did the Pittsburgh Pirates fair?
Over the last few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have seen their farm system go from being one of the best in baseball to the middle of the pack. Actually, at one point they were considered one of the top three farm systems in baseball. However, as time has gone on, they have seen many of these top prospects graduate to the big leagues. This has mainly happened due to the three playoff years, which in turn led to them drafting lower in draft, where it is harder to find those top talents. Add those two factors together and one can see why the Pittsburgh Pirates only have two players on this year’s top 100 prospect list.
So which two Pittsburgh Pirates are on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects lists for 2018? It is the two that everybody would guess, pitching prospect Mitch Keller and outfield prospect Austin Meadows. Keller is the higher ranked of the two, coming in at number overall. He is also the number four overall ranked right-handed pitching prospect. Meanwhile, Meadows comes in ranked at number 44 overall and the 10th overall outfield prospect. Meadows saw his stock really go down after having a horrible 2017 campaign. In 72 games at Triple-A last season, he posted a slash line of .250/.311/.359, numbers that were not even close to his career norms. He also was injured for most of the season, battling a hamstring in the early going before straining his oblique, ultimately ending his 2017 season. Meanwhile, Keller was dominant. For more on his 2017 campaign check the link below.
Compared to Last Year
This list was significantly different last season. Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates had five players on Baseball America’s top 100 list. Of the list, Meadows and Keller were the highest ranked. Keller was ranked at number 22, so he moved up 10 spots. Meanwhile, Meadows was ranked at number six overall, so he had quite the drop-off. Also on the list were Tyler Glasnow at number 23 and Josh Bell at number 35, both who graduated. Kevin Newman dropped completely off the list falling from number 55 overall.
Next: Mitch Keller a Top Prospect
Who are some other players that could rise up and make the midseason release? The first name that comes to mind would be Shane Baz. Baz was considered one of the top prep arms in the last year’s draft class. He was noted for having advanced pitches for his age, so he could be one. Also, Taylor Hearn makes sense. He is a big left-handed pitcher who has a fastball that approaches triple digits. Many expect him to have a breakout season. Hitters to watch would be Ke’Bryan Hayes, Cole Tucker, and Kevin Kramer.