Baseball America released their mid-season top 50 prospects today, which can be found on the site here if you are a subscriber. Jameson Taillon was the only Pirate listed, coming in at number nine. He’s the fifth rated pitcher on the list. Note that 2011 draft picks aren’t eligible yet.
One player of interest is Jurickson Profar, who is the number 12 prospect on the list. That’s a big jump from his pre-season ranking of 74th. I’ve talked about how the Pirates could get Profar in exchange for Joel Hanrahan, although that was based on Profar’s pre-season value as the 74th best prospect. A hitter in the 11-25 range is valued at $25.1 M. When I looked at Hanrahan’s value back in May, it was at $15.9 M.
Profar has seen an upgrade in his value, although so has Hanrahan. When I projected him at the time, there were questions as to whether he was one of the best in the game. A month and a half later, we can safely say that he’s performing like one of the best in the game right now. Right now he projects as a 2.4 WAR for the entire season. That takes him up to $19.1 M in value, which wouldn’t be enough.
As for Paul Maholm, he was rated lower. Maholm had a $10.1 M value when I looked at him at the end of May. His value hasn’t really changed, since I projected him for a 3.0 WAR at the time, and that remains his performance to date. Based on these two updated numbers, Hanrahan and Maholm combined would be enough to get Profar, who now rates as a top 15 prospect. The Pirates could also get a Grade B hitting prospect in the deal.
The more likely scenario is that Profar is out of the picture. Top hitting prospects are usually a safe bet, which is why they are so valuable. In this case, you’ve got a top shortstop prospect, which is extremely rare to find. Even though the Rangers have Elvis Andrus, I don’t see them dealing Profar, unless they can get a huge return, and I don’t think Hanrahan/Maholm qualifies.
The Pirates would actually have a better shot at Martin Perez, a left handed starter who rates as the number six prospect on the list. Pitchers in the top 10 carry a value of $15.2 M, which means that Hanrahan would be enough (and a pitcher that is close to the majors might settle Pirates fans on trading a top closer that is under control for two more seasons). Of course, once again, the Rangers would have to be willing to deal Perez, and they would have to be willing to use him to acquire Hanrahan as one of their top prospects.