Analysis

Keith Law Ranks Three Pirates Among Top 25 Prospects

Keith Law Ranks Three Pirates Among Top 25 Prospects

Keith Law has unveiled a new top 25 prospect list for Insider subscribers and he has three Pittsburgh Pirates players listed.

Cole retains his top spot in the Pirates system (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Cole retains his top spot in the Pirates system (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Rated first among Pirates players is pitcher Gerrit Cole in the 12th spot. That is four spots down from his pre-season ranking.

Law then has Jameson Taillon ranked #14, which is six spots higher than he had him in the pre-season.

Finally, he has Gregory Polanco making the huge jump from 55th place earlier, all the way up to the 22nd spot.

That is the same order we listed our top prospects on in the Pirates Prospects guide.

The Pirates are the only team on the list that has three players. None have more.

Cole has struggled this season with high pitch counts and he isn’t getting the strikeout totals that you would expect from someone with his plus offerings. He is 3-3, 3.67 in ten starts, with 39 strikeouts in 54 innings. He has shown a strong groundball rate at 1.31 and his holding batters to a .207 BAA. Cole also showed some great signs in his last start, allowing three singles to start the game, then throwing six no-hit innings to close out his day.

Taillon has been more consistent this year compared to Cole, going 3-5, 2.91 in his ten starts, with 63 strikeouts in 55.2 innings. While Cole has never struck out more than five in any game this season, Taillon has done that seven times, twice reaching his career high of ten. He has also pitched slightly better in May, stepping up his strikeout rate, lowering his ERA and getting the groundball rate(1.53) that the Pirates like to see.

Polanco is picking up where he left off last year in West Virginia, hitting .310 with twenty extra base hits,  19 stolen bases and a low strikeout total(26 in 171 AB’s). Law brings up that some scouts have questioned whether he is a future center fielder. Polanco has made six errors this year already, a career high, but he has spectacular range and a great arm. Plus, if he moves quick enough in the Pirates system, where he plays won’t be a problem with Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen already there.

Analysis

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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