First Pitch

First Pitch: The Important Lower Tiers in the Prospect Rankings

First Pitch: The Important Lower Tiers in the Prospect Rankings

For the last few years we've been hearing the same thing over and over about the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system. They're very top-heavy, but the system lacks depth. It was never clear what that meant. Did it mean they didn't have guys in the upper levels who could take over in the majors in the next year or two? If so, then I think the 2013 season is proving that theory wrong. I feel it meant that they had A level prospects, but didn't have a lot of B or C+ level guys. They had guys who could become stars, but not many guys who could become just good, reliable players.

The thing the Pirates did have was upside. While everyone was focused on Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and the other guys at the top of the system, people were dismissing the bottom of the system as "lacking depth". The reality is that the Pirates had a lot of high upside guys who hadn't broken out yet. Tyler Glasnow was lumped in to that group that lacked depth over the last two years. So were Alen Hanson and Gregor...

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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.

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