Baseball America released their mid-season top 50 prospects today, which featured four Pirates Prospects. The bonus content suggested that the Pirates could have eight top 100 prospects next year (or seven if you assume that Starling Marte loses his eligibility in the second half of this year).
Heading in to the year, the comments on the system were that it was top heavy, but didn't have a lot of depth. That was something I agreed with, although with one disclaimer. The Pirates were top heavy, and they didn't have a lot of depth in the middle, but they had a lot of high upside guys who hadn't broken out yet.
This year we're starting to see some of those upside guys break out, while the guys at the top have mostly maintained their production. Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco are the two biggest breakout prospects. Hanson was rated as the 40th best prospect in the game by Baseball America, while Polanco was mentioned as a guy who would draw consideration for the top 100 next year.
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 AccuScore.com, 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.