Prospect coverage is being rolled out by multiple websites right now, with ESPN and Kiley McDaniel ranking the different systems yesterday. The Pirates farm is looking bright.
Earlier in the week, Keith Law and Baseball America ranked the farm systems, with Law ranking the Pirates system 16th and Baseball America giving them a 13th place finish. The Pirates, in Law’s words, are rising and the Pirates jumped from 23rd before 2020 to 13th in Baseball America rankings. The Pirates farm is improving and gaining depth, with the club’s farm receiving more praise yesterday.
When Kiley McDaniel – formerly lead prospect analyst at FanGraphs then Assistant Director of Baseball Operations with the Atlanta Braves and back at FanGraphs – released his top 100 prospect rankings on ESPN, the Pirates saw six players.
Ke’Bryan Hayes led the way and saw fellow prospects Oneil Cruz, Nick Gonzales, Travis Swaggerty, Quinn Priester and Liover Peguero. The Pirates tied with the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins with having six players and trailed the Tampa Bay Rays (who had nine prospects). This was a good sign in the organization’s farm improving, especially given the amount of top prospects the Pirates acquired in trade, with McDaniel stating that Head and Yajure both missed his top 100.
With the arrow pointing up and McDaniel ranking the club with the 11th best farm in 2020 (where they had four top 100 prospects in Hayes, Mitch Keller, Swaggerty, and Peguero. This time, however, the club ranks fourth in McDaniel’s rankings while adding $42 million in farm value.
With Ben Cherington and the front office looking to improve the farm, it seems like they have started to accomplish that goal. McDaniel mentioned that the Pirates saw their fifth best improvement in farm value since last year. The club has gotten more athletic and more depth in the farm, and it appears the next window is starting in 2023. Eric Longenhagen will be releasing his top 100 prospects next week.