First Pitch

First Pitch: Why Does the Pirates Farm System Seem Different This Year?

First Pitch: Why Does the Pirates Farm System Seem Different This Year?

I was on ESPN 970 this afternoon with David Todd, discussing our top ten prospects, and a few other topics in the minor league system. You can listen to the segment here. Towards the end, David asked me if it seemed like something was different this year in the minor league system.

The Pirates have started to get a lot of attention this year for the quality of their farm system. Nearly every outlet that grades prospects has the Pirates as one of the top farm systems in baseball. They've got a ton of impact prospects at the top of the system, and that's true even if you remove Gerrit Cole from the rankings.

So what happened? Why is the system getting so much praise this year? What is different? I only had a few minutes to answer when David asked, so I gave an answer about how a lot of the players added by the Pirates needed some time to break out, and after a few years we're now starting to see those guys breaking out. But there's a lot of other factors to consider. So here's five...

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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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