Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has released his top 101 prospects for the 2012 season, and in the biggest showing for the team yet, six Pittsburgh Pirates prospects have made the list. You can view the whole list here, as well as a brief explanation as to how Goldstein approaches his rankings.
The top ranked player on the list was Gerrit Cole, who rated ninth overall. Cole was the fourth best pitcher on the list, and the third best right hander behind Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy.
Jameson Taillon followed shortly after Cole, coming in at number 13. Based on the rankings you could argue that the Pirates have the best pair of pitching prospects in the game, according to Goldstein. The only other team with two pitchers in the top 30 was the New York Mets, who had the 25th and 30th ranked prospects. The Cardinals, Mariners, and Diamondbacks each had pitchers in the top 15, with their second best pitcher being in the 31-40 range.
Luis Heredia was up next, ranking 42nd overall. Heredia has been hit or miss on the rankings this year. He didn’t end up on MLB.com’s list, and was just outside of the top 100 in Keith Law’s rankings. He has a ton of upside, but he’s also raw and a long way from the majors, so you could justify either ranking.
Josh Bell immediately followed Heredia at number 43, giving the Pirates four players in the top 50. Bell is very similar to Heredia. He’s got a big ceiling, but for now he’s young and his ranking is based almost fully off of projections. Unlike Heredia, Bell’s rankings haven’t been far off this one. He was ranked 67 and 69 in the other two major top 100 lists that were released.
Starling Marte was the fifth prospect on the list, coming in at number 56. This is about normal for Marte, who ranked 40th on MLB.com’s list and 72nd on Keith Law’s list.
The final player to be ranked was Robbie Grossman, who came in at number 76. Grossman missed the MLB.com rankings, but was rated 86th by Keith Law.
The Pirates had the third most players in the top 100. Only the Oakland Athletics (7) and San Diego Padres (10) had more. The Pirates were the only team with four players in the top 50, with several teams ending up with three in that range.