Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Three Offseason Tasks to Focus On

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The last thing the team is missing is a premier prospect.  Through the early Huntington years the team always had that one prospect to get really excited about, whether that was Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Jameson Taillon, or Gerrit Cole.  They were not only top only top prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates system, but also in baseball.  In fact, they were not viewed as just top prospects but also as potential franchise corner stones.

The team currently does not have that prospect that seems like the future star.  Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes are highly touted, but both had tough years last year that showed they are not in the elite category.  Keller improved and he has the stuff to be a front of the rotation type arm, but he also looked overmatched at the big league level.  Meanwhile, Hayes looks like a defensive third baseman with what remains a projectable bat.

It is hard to find and acquire elite prospect talent, more and more teams are becoming less willing to trade them.  Also to blame is the previous regime.  The elite prospects they did have, Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow, they sold low on and watched them flourish elsewhere. Furthermore, former General Manager Neal Huntington aimed for quantity of quality in a lot of his trades.  Many fans were underwhelmed with the return they got for Gerrit Cole as the Pirates did not receive one of their top prospect.

This team needs that future prospect who people are excited about.  With Starling Marte potentially being on the trading block, he is likely their best chip to bring in a top prospect.  With a new front office coming in, they likely will look to trade away aging veterans on expiring or close to expiring contracts.