Baseball America today released their top ten prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates going in to the 2010 season. Check out the top ten list here, and for Baseball America subscribers, the top ten list with scouting information can be found here. There will also be a chat for subscribers at 1:30 PM with John Perrotto on the rankings.
Pedro Alvarez topped the list for the second straight year. Jose Tabata finished second behind Alvarez, up one spot from last year, when he was behind Andrew McCutchen.
Tony Sanchez, the surprise 2009 first round pick by the Pirates, ended up as the number three prospect. Brad Lincoln came in at number four for the second straight year.
Chase d’Arnaud soared up the charts, coming in at number five. d’Arnaud was number 17 in the Baseball America rankings for 2009.
Starling Marte broke in to the rankings for the first time at number six with his strong season.
Tim Alderson finished at number seven, a year after being ranked fourth in the San Francisco Giants system, behind Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and Angel Villalona. That either speaks a lot about the 2009 seasons of Sanchez, d’Arnaud, and Marte, or Alderson has slipped in the rankings a bit. I guess that will be answered when the top 100 prospects comes out before the season.
Zach Von Rosenberg finished eighth in the rankings, which is two spots higher than where I had him
. Rudy Owens finished ninth, also soaring in to the top 30 for the first time on the strength of his 2009 season.
Rounding out the top ten list was Gorkys Hernandez, who came in to the 2009 season as the number four prospect in Atlanta’s farm system, behind Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward, and Jordan Schafer. Once again, this either speaks volumes about the strength of this list, or Gorkys has seen a drop in value.
The top ten list has the exact same players as my top ten list, although the rankings are obviously different. What I found interesting was the projected 2013 lineup, which looked like this:
C – Tony Sanchez
1B – Jeff Clement
2B – Akinori Iwamura
SS – Chase d’Arnaud
3B – Pedro Alvarez
LF – Lastings Milledge
CF – Andrew McCutchen
RF – Jose Tabata
SP 1 – Brad Lincoln
SP 2 – Charlie Morton
SP 3 – Ross Ohlendorf
SP 4 – Zach Duke
SP 5 – Paul Maholm
Closer – Victor Black
I would put Garrett Jones in at first base. While Jones only has half a season of success, Clement has no success in the majors. I also don’t think Iwamura will still be here. That would require the Pirates to sign him to a three year deal following the season, which means he’d be our 34 year old starting second baseman in 2013.
On the starters list, Zach Duke is eligible for free agency following the 2011 season. Paul Maholm is eligible for free agency after the 2012 season, assuming the Pirates pick up his $9.75 M option in 2012. With guys like Alderson, Jeff Locke, and Rudy Owens in the minors, I don’t think there’s a chance Duke and Maholm stick around. I’d replace them with Alderson and either Owens or Locke. I also think Morton/Ohlendorf make a strong 3/4 combo, but I’m not sold on Morton as a number two starter. I like Victor Black as the closer.