Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: No Top Shortstops or Outfielders


The Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system is very much depleted.  MLB Pipeline has shown this with their top 10 positional prospect lists.

Over the last two weeks, the team at MLB Pipeline has been releasing their top 10 positional prospect lists.  They did every position as well as left-handed and right-handed pitching.  The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system is not what it once was, and it was glaring on based on the rankings of each position.

A couple of days ago the site released their top 10 shortstop prospects.  This obviously is one of the most important positions in baseball and it is important to have potential impact talent playing at shortstop.  Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates do not have a single-player listed on the 2020 shortstop list.  In previous years guys like Kevin Newman and Cole Tucker were on the list.  One prospect of note is Oneil Cruz.  Cruz could potentially be on the list, but the expectation is for the 6’7” infielder to transition to another position.

The last list Pipeline released was the top 10 outfield prospects.  Unlike the other positions, the outfield is not ranked based on specific outfield positions.  This is because most top outfield prospects start in centerfield but eventually move to a corner for one reason or another.  Not that it mattered for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they did not have a single prospect ranked on this list.  This is especially disappointing because for a long time the Pittsburgh Pirates always seemed to have a top outfield prospect coming through the system.

Now they do have a couple of players who could make a push for the list in the future.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have 2018 first-round pick Travis Swaggerty, 2017 second-round pick Cal Mitchell, and Arizona Fall League breakout player Jared Oliva.  Oliva will be in Triple-A this year and likely will not ever make a real push to make the list.  However, Swaggerty and Mitchell have the time and the tools to prove they deserve a spot on the list down the road.

Next. Hall of Famers vs the Bucs. dark

All in all, the Pittsburgh Pirates only had two representatives on the top 10 positional prospect lists.  The two prospects are second baseman Ji-hwan Bae and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.  This really shows the state of the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system and why the organization needed to change this offseason.  Hopefully, new General Manager Ben Cherington and his staff can get the team back to having a strong minor league system.