Baseball America’s Mid-Season Top 50

Taillon is the 9th best prospect in the majors.

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.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • HankS

    Tim, are you disappointed that the Pirates only have 1 guy in the top 50???  I felt like our system has improved in the last 3yrs but the rankings dont show it

    • Tim Williams

      I think that if you look at most top 50 lists, you’ll find a lot of high draft picks and guys in the upper minors.  The Pirates will likely have Cole in the top 50 heading in to next year.  As for the upper level guys, most of their top prospects (Allie, Heredia) are in the lower levels, while their top upper level guys (Sanchez, Marte) are more 50-100 guys, or guys who fall just outside the top 100.

      I don’t really worry about the top 50, top 100, etc, rankings.  They’re fun to look at, but I think they get taken too seriously.  What they don’t show is the difference between a guy ranked #5 and a guy ranked #25, or a guy ranked #50 and a guy ranked at #150.  Obviously you want guys ranked as high as possible, but I don’t think prospects are just limited to those in the top 50/100 lists.

      • HankS

        Good, That makes me feel better about it then, I some times get upset when I dont see our Prospects on the Hot Sheet but I’m working through that  lol  Thanks Tim

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