In its just-published annual Prospect Handbook, Baseball America ranked the Pirates' farm system 13th in baseball, up from 19th a year ago. The system no doubt was helped by the addition of two high-end talents in the 2011 draft--pitcher Gerrit Cole and outfielder Josh Bell--as well as by breakout seasons by Starling Marte, Robbie Grossman and Kyle McPherson. On the down side, the improvement in the organization's ranking was probably tempered by disappointing seasons from many of their upper level prospects, particularly Tony Sanchez, Rudy Owens and Andrew Lambo, as well as the fact that none of the high school pitchers drafted in 2009 took more than small steps forward in 2011.
Two Pirates pitching prospects figured prominently in top 50 prospect lists assembled by several of the BA...
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Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.