Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB Pipeline Top 10 Outfield Prospects

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

So far, the Pittsburgh Pirates have seen a few of their prospects rank on MLB Pipeline’s Top 10 lists.  The most recent list released was for the outfield.

The Pittsburgh Pirates used to have some of the best outfield prospects in baseball year in and year out.  In general, they used to have one of the best farm systems in baseball.  However, they’re currently in a bit of a transition state in terms of prospects with so many graduating to the big leagues and being apart of trades last year.

With that, the Pittsburgh Pirates have not had a ton of representatives on MLB Pipeline’s Top 10 Prospects by position list.  So far, the Bucs have had Mitch Keller ranked at number four overall on the right-handed pitcher list and Ke’Bryan Hayes at number four on the third base list.  The most recent list, and the last list released by the team at MLB Pipeline, is the Top 10 Outfield List.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did not have any outfielders make the cut for the Top 10 Outfield list.  This is a bit weird to see after having years of Austin Meadows and, before him, Gregory Polanco on the list.  However, who were probably the closest Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospects who could have been on the list?

Right away the obvious choice is 2018 first round pick Travis Swaggerty.  Swaggerty was the top college outfield bat in the draft last year and is projected to be a 20 home run and 20 stolen base type player down the road.  However, like a lot of college bats, Swaggerty did not exactly make a huge impact in his first take of professional action.

He finished the year in Low-A West Virginia after starting in Short-Season A.  He batted .239/.322/.383 with 58 strikeouts in 52 games.  Swaggerty will have to really tear up his competition this year if he wants to end up on the Top 10 list, though he is ranked on Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 prospect list.

The other player that could make the list this year is outfielder Calvin Mitchell.  Alongside Oneil Cruz, Cal Mitchell might have been the team’s other breakout offensive candidate.  Mitchell has now turned into a borderline Top 100 Prospect on Baseball Prospectus’ list.  Last season, Mitchell posted a slash line of .280/.344/.427 with 10 home runs and 109 strikeouts in 119 games.  He did that at just 19 years old, 2.5 years younger than the average age of the players in the league.

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These two are the most likely candidates to make the jump on the list.  Obviously, Travis Swaggerty has the pedigree to make the list being the number 10 overall pick in the draft.  Meanwhile, Mitchell, a second-round pick, has already started to develop into what many believed would be his upside potential.  At such a young age, he could very well be a quick riser to the big leagues.