The Pittsburgh Pirates did not have a single pitching prospect ranked on the left-handed or right-handed top 10 lists. The trend continued on MLB Pipeline’s most recent lists.
Every year MLB Pipeline releases top 10 prospect lists by position. It is always interesting to see where certain Pittsburgh Pirates prospects would rank. Typically, the team has a few prospects pop up on these lists. Well, this year this has not been the case.
So far MLB Pipeline has released their top 10 prospects lists for right-handed starting pitchers and left-handed starting pitchers. The team did not have a single pitching prospect on either list. This is the first time in a long time after seeing pitchers like Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, and Mitch Keller consistently find spots on these lists.
Things have not gotten much better for the team’s representation on these lists. Since releasing their pitching lists, MLB Pipeline has also released their top 10 lists for catcher and first base. Just like the pitching lists, the team does not have a top 10 catcher or first baseman.
The fact that they do not have a catcher rated inside the top 10 is not really surprising. All offseason, Pittsburgh Pirates fans have heard about how Ben Cherington wants to acquire a catching prospect in any Starling Marte trade. Obviously, the team does not have much depth there. As of last year, the team did not have a single prospect rated inside their top 30 that was a catcher.
The same can be said for first base as well. The previous regime mostly ignored first base in their draft classes. They preferred to take athletic up the middle players instead of a player who would be limited to first base in the National League. Still, over the years they have passed on some premium first base bats.
The one player that has become a notable first base prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization is Will Craig. Craig was a first-round pick drafted in 2016 out of Wake Forest as a third baseman. The team transitioned him to first base, but up until last season they did not see any first base power from him.
If Ben Cherington wants to get the Pittsburgh Pirates back into contention he needs to instill some talent into the minor leagues. When the Bucs had their success it was because they had a strong minor league system. This organization needs to have multiple players on these kinds of lists under the new regime.