Baseball America has released their list of the top 100 prospects today and the Pittsburgh Pirates have five players on the list. Only the Cardinals, Marlins and Twins had more with six apiece. Subscribers can view the best tools list for each player.
Gerrit Cole has been ranked #1 on every Pirates top prospect list, Including Baseball America’s list, so it is no surprise that he comes in at seventh place, headlining this strong top-heavy system. Cole is the fourth highest pitcher on the list, trailing Dylan Bundy, Jose Fernandez and Shelby Miller. Cole has the highest ranked fastball on the list(80 on the 20/80 scouting scale), with only one other reliever matching his rating. Cole also has the highest slider rating at 70, with just two other pitchers matching him.
Jameson Taillon comes in next among Pirates, ranked 19th overall, right between Seattle prospect Taijuan Walker and Cincinnati speedster Billy Hamilton. Taillon has a 65 curveball on the scouting scale, ranked below just one other pitcher, Arodys Vizcaino, who missed all of last season with an injury.
Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson are 3/4 on almost every Pirates top prospect ranking out there, but BA had them ranked below Luis Heredia in their top ten Pirates list released back in January. BA has the three ranked in their top 100, with a twist. Heredia comes in at #78, below both Polanco at #51 and Hanson at #61.
Last year, the Pirates placed four players among the top 100 on Baseball America. Cole ranked #12, followed by Taillon at #15, Josh Bell at #60 and Starling Marte was #73.
Bell was named on their list of five near misses, saying that only his health concern kept him off the top 100 list.