With the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft finishing up last week new prospect lists are starting to take form. FanGraphs released their new top 131 prospect list.
Every Major League Baseball team added new prospects to their pipeline’s last week during the MLB draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates were in prime spots over the last two years to add numerous quality prospects. Last year they did in taking right-handed prep pitcher Shane Baz 11th overall. This year they had two picks in the top 36 selections. With the #10 overall pick, they selected all-around outfielder from South Alabama University in Travis Swaggerty. They also took prep righties Gunnar Hoglund and Braxton Ashcraft. Did any of these new prospects make FanGraph’s new top 131 prospects list? Let’s also take a look at other prospects in the system that showed up on the list.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Travis Swaggerty 10th overall some were surprised. Many thought the team would look at pitching with the #10 pick. Names like Brady Singer, Cole Winn, and Mathew Liberatore were still on the board. Instead, the Pittsburgh Pirates did what they have done more recently. They took the best college hitter available and grabbed arms with their other picks.
Swaggerty was noted as the best college outfield bat and praised for his all-around game. The night of the draft the analyst at MLB Network said he could be a potential 20-20 player and would likely be able to stick in center field. FanGraphs must agree with this assessment. The team at the site already has him ranked as the #68 overall prospect. He is the only Pittsburgh Pirates draftee to be on the list.
Swaggerty comes in as the Pittsburgh Pirates 4th highest rated prospect in the updated list. Who is in front of him? Well, of course, the Pittsburgh Pirates top overall prospect is Mitch Keller. Keller was rated by FanGraphs at #23 in an early addition. However, they now have him ranked at #18 overall. Up next is current Major League outfielder Austin Meadows. He ascended from #47 to #37. The last player is a bit of surprise as he has not gained top 100 recognition from other sites like MLB Pipeline or Baseball America. Ke’Bryan Hayes is the Pittsburgh Pirates top third base prospect and is now ranked by FanGraphs as the #42 overall prospect in baseball. They previously had him ranked at #56.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a few other prospects after those four also on the list. After Swaggerty at #68 overall comes Cole Tucker. Tucker was the Pittsburgh Pirates first round pick in 2014. He also moved up from his previous ranking going from #81 to #74. The last player to show up on the list is previously mentioned righty pitcher Shane Baz. Baz has not pitched yet this season and the Bucs are always cautious with young arms as they transition to professional baseball. Still, Baz went from previously unranked to #120 overall.