Not every MLB star was a top 100 prospect in their minor league careers, but who were the best non-top 100 prospects to have ever played for the Pittsburgh Pirates?
In 1990, the first top 100 prospect list published by a major publication was released to the public. That was Baseball America’s top 100 list with Atlanta Braves’ pitcher Steve Avery coming in at no. 1. Since then, many other publications, including MLB Pipeline, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, and many more have become mainstream for fans and analysts to turn to when evaluating players in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system and every other in baseball..
However, there have been plenty of great players since 1990 who weren’t considered the cream of the crop when it came to minor leaguers. Plenty of non-top 100 prospects have flourished in the major leagues, despite the lack of prospect attention. The Pittsburgh Pirates have also had plenty of good players during that time who weren’t top 100 prospects.
Today, that’s the kind of former players I want to examine: the best Pirates players to never rank top 100 on any major prospect publication. The former Pirate doesn’t necessarily have to have been with the Pirates at the time of the ranking. The only qualification is that they never were on any top 100 prospect list.