Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Breaking Down Post-July Farm System


July was the final big month in the current rebuild of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Where does their farm system stand after a busy, and successful, July?

We all knew that the month of July was going to be one of, if not the biggest month for the Pittsburgh Pirates rebuild. They had both the draft and trade deadline to inject the farm system with a whole lot of new talent. So after both major events, what does the farm system look like now? Where does it rank among all other MLB teams?

The draft alone brought in six new players on FanGraphs Pirate prospect board. Henry Davis ranks the highest, obviously, but he was far from the team’s only noteworthy prospect acquired in this draft. They now have two-way high school star Bubba Chandler, top-ranked high school pitcher Anthony Solometo, two more high school players in Lonnie White Jr. and Owen Kellington, and finally college prospect Jackson Glenn.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had the best draft by any team in the MLB, and it wasn’t even close. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise speaking that the Pirates had the #1 overall selection, but they even surpassed many people’s expectations of what they’d be able to do.

The trade deadline also brought in a handful more prospects.

Now, the Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t able to secure any top 100 prospects, though the likelihood of them doing so was slim to none. Among the most noteworthy was Tucupita Marcano, the headliner of the Adam Frazier trade.

Marcano gives the Pittsburgh Pirates a high-ceiling prospect who at the very least, can be an Frazier 2.0. He comes in at #34. But he wasn’t the only prospect from that trade to appear on FanGraphs’ rankings. Jack Suwinski also is on their board.

The headliner of the Richard Rodriguez trade, Ricky DeVito also is a higher ranking prospect coming in at #39. Luis Tejada and Carter Bins, the two prospects who the Pittsburgh Pirates received in the trade with the Seattle Mariners for Tyler Anderson rank at #41 and #43. Abrahan Gutierrez ranks as the team’s 33rd best prospect per FanGraphs. He was the player the Pirates got back for Braeden Ogle, who didn’t come close to ranking as one of their top 40 prospects.

Surprisingly, the best prospect the Pittsburgh Pirates got back in a trade leading up to the trade deadline was Diego Castillo. Castillo was one of the two players going to the Pirates in the trade that sent Clay Holmes to the New York Yankees. He comes in at #22. The other player the Pirates got, Hoy Park comes in at #38.

So at the end of the month, where is the Pirate farm system? By FanGraph rankings they come in with the second most ranked prospects (35+ prospects) with 62. The Cubs have 61 and the Texas Rangers have 66. However, the Pirates have more 40 or higher FV prospects than either the Cubs and Rangers. Plus they have 22 prospects who are 20 years old or younger compared to the Rangers who have 17 and the Cubs who also have 22. Though the Cubs only have one prospect within the top 100 while the Bucs have five.

FanGraphs ranks the Pirate farm as the 3rd best system in all of baseball. It’s one of three to have a value of over $300 million with $345 million. Nobody is particularly close either. The fourth-place Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm is worth over $50 million less at $291 million. When looking at what the Pirates got in the draft, they seemed to aim for high-end talent with high ceilings. When looking at what the Pirates did at the trade deadline, they went after players who will add a ton of depth to the system. That approach makes sense as the draft gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a huge opportunity to get high-end talent while none of their trade pieces were going to fetch that kind of talent.

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Overall, the team still has one of the best systems in all of baseball. The high-end talent they got in the draft along with the volume of talent they got in trades gives the Pirates an even brighter future than they had before the month started.