Pittsburgh Pirates Place Six Prospects in Kiley McDaniel’s Top 100
By Cody Potanko
This time of year for baseball fans is usually filled with optimism, excitement, anxiety, and a whole mish-mash of emotions. For someone like me, this is the time of year when you look for all of the top 100 prospect lists describing who has the best tools, who’s ready, who’s not ready, etc. This pertains to every MLB club, but especially a club like the Pittsburgh Pirates who are in rebuilding mode, which puts their farm system in the focus.
Thursday morning, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel released his top 100 prospects list. You can read the full list with analysis on each prospect here.
Shortly after the list was released, found out that six Pittsburgh Pirates prospects find themselves among McDaniel’s top 100. These six prospects are Ke’Bryan Hayes, Oneil Cruz, Nick Gonzales, Travis Swaggerty, Quinn Priester and Liover Peguero.
To no one’s surprise, Hayes topped the list, being ranked 6th which is three spots higher than MLB Pipeline’s ranking of Hayes. Coming in next is the 6-foot-7 Cruz. Now one shocking thing that Crouse pointed out was Cruz is listed as a third baseman, internal confusion sets in real hard. Anyways, Cruz jumped up a whopping 36 spots as compared to MLB Pipeline’s rankings.
Can we just take a minute and think as to why he was listed as a third baseman for a couple of seconds here? Odds are, this was just an error in the reporting, which does happen, or a typo. If not, it would be extremely disappointed in Cruz being moved to third for the simple fact Hayes is the future there. However, more than likely, Cruz is still destined for a corner outfield spot or becoming one of, if not the only, 6-foot-7 shortstop in MLB history.
One thing from McDaniel’s list that caught me a bit off guard is the emergence of a new name in any lists I’ve seen, and that is Swaggerty. From a couple of birdies, I know Swaggerty is right on the cusp of the Major Leagues, so it is a positive sign to see him crack McDaniel’s list. Swaggerty spending the 2020 season on the taxi squad for the Pittsburgh Pirates while he refined his game at the alternate training site in Altonna did not go unnoticed.
The other three names being mentioned, Gonzales, Priester and Peguero, came as no surprise. Gonzales is a top consensus top 100 prospect, scouts across baseball have raved about Priester throughout the offseason and Peguero just missed MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list, while being a top 100 prospect according to FanGraphs. Stay tuned for when MLB Pipeline comes out with each club’s top 30. You should see another article from me discussing the results, and hopefully, we see some new names!