MLB Pipeline is finishing up their release of their top 10 prospects list by position. What Pittsburgh Pirates showed up on the top ten shortstop and outfield lists?
So far the Pittsburgh Pirates have not seen a lot of their farm system represented on MLB Pipeline’s top 10 prospect lists. Mitch Keller, the top prospect for the Bucs, was rated at number six overall prospect for right-handed pitchers. Kevin Kramer, a second base prospect, came in ranked as the 10th best prospect at his respected position. Ke’Bryan Hayes was given an honorary nod for third base prospects, and he likely will make the list at some point this year. So what about the two most recent lists?
As far as shortstops go, the Pittsburgh Pirates have surely invested a lot of early picks in the position over the last few drafts. In 2014, they drafted Cole Tucker in the first round. Then in the 2015 draft, they invested another first round pick in shortstop Kevin Newman. They followed that up with a pick of shortstop Stephen Alemais in the third round of the 2016 draft.
So are any of these players top 10 shortstop worthy? According to MLB Pipeline, they are not, as none of the three are on the list. This comes after Kevin Newman hit .267/.311/.363, a pretty unremarkable stat line. Cole Tucker is most likely the closest to making the list. The 21-year-old hit .275/.358/.408 between High-A and Double-A. The thing with Tucker is he is very athletic giving him a ton of upside. He showed off his athleticism last year when he stole 47 bases.
In terms of the outfield, the Pittsburgh Pirates were at one time projected to have the best outfield in baseball. It was always considered a position of strength in their farm system. However, like their farm system as a whole, the outfield prospects started to graduate and/or not develop. This leaves only one top prospect in the organization, Austin Meadows . Meadows was ranked as the number two outfield prospect last year. This year he is not even on MLB Pipeline’s list for outfielders. Meadows had the worst season of his minor league career last season, battling injuries and hitting well below his career norms.
Meadows most likely still should be on the list. He was considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and is now considered to be “falling” because of an 81 game sample. The only other outfield prospect in the organization that could crack the top 10 by midseason would be Bryan Reynolds, but that would take quite the first half. They also addressed the outfield last year in the second round of the draft. They drafted Calvin Mitchell and Connor Uselton with both of their second rounds. The outfield and shortstop list concluded MLB Pipeline’s top position prospects. All in all, the Bucs only had two fall on these lists, which says a lot about how much the farm system has regressed.