Gregory Polanco is the top prospect in the system, and should be up by mid-season.

Taillon, Polanco, and Glasnow Make Baseball Prospectus Top 50

Gregory Polanco is the number 12 prospect in BP's mid-season top 50.

Gregory Polanco is the number 12 prospect in BP’s mid-season top 50.

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus has released his mid-season top 50 prospects list, and has three Pittsburgh Pirates prospects listed. The three players are Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco, and Tyler Glasnow.

Taillon is the highest ranked, coming in at number ten overall. Polanco wasn’t far behind him, ranked at number 12. Parks included a “Prospect Trajectory”, giving an idea of where each guy could move when the off-season rankings came out. He noted that Taillon’s trajectory is down, due to struggles in the upper levels at the age of 21 (talking about his changeup/fastball command development). He also noted that Polanco could move higher, and finish as a top ten prospect. This might be the first time I’ve seen someone consider Polanco to eventually be the top prospect in the system. That’s a debate we had in our mid-season rankings, and something we’ll probably revisit after we see what Polanco does in Double-A.

Tyler Glasnow came in at number 46, and also had a trajectory to move up with a strong second half. Glasnow was given an ETA of 2015, while Taillon and Polanco were given 2014.

Parks also listed Luis Heredia and Alen Hanson as candidates for the 51-75 part of the list. Heredia is a bit surprising, since he hasn’t done much to improve his stock, and missed some time after showing up to Spring Training out of shape. However, maybe that’s not so surprising, since BP has been higher on Heredia than most, ranking him number 53 in the pre-season.

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Tim Williams

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, 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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Pirates Have Three in Baseball America’s Mid-Season Top 50

  • deacs

    I think there’s a site called Bullpen Banter (not sure) that lists 7 Pirates in their Top 75. Anyone hear of this site? I’m typically late to the party with these other sites. Don’t even know how I got on it. It had Hanson, Bell, Heredia and Meadows on it but I think anyone with 1/3 of an inning in the majors was off the list – Bundy for example.

  • Lee Young

    Re: JT…I just hope we don’t regret passing on Machado.

    • Kevin_Young

      I wanted Machado at the time too, but it’s not like it keeps me up at night that we got another top 10 prospect instead….

      • jaygray007

        Regardless of the careers that both of them have, it’ll always kind of stink that they didn’t have Machado as the SS in 2013.

        But you gotta love Jameson Taillon regardless.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD

      Considering our long term SS situation, I already regret not drafting Machado. But, that is with 20/20 hindsight. At the time, I would have been happy with Machado or Taillon.

      • stickyweb

        Mercer for 6 years seems like a decent long term SS situation to me.

        • Kevin_Young

          We still have Alen Hanson, too…i mean the guy is a pretty legit prospect

          • stickyweb

            KY, you sold me. Mercer for 2 more years, then bring up Hanson and move Mercer to 2B as Walker hits free agency

            • Dean Manifest

              Let’s chill out on Mercer. I’m hopeful too, but his first foray into the majors hasn’t been unlike the first few months of Tabata and Presley. Let’s put him in the wait-and-see category.

  • deacs

    Watching Machado used to bother me but now that he’s on Tim’s fantasy baseball team I’m ok with him doing well. But seriously, as long as Taillon is good I won’t care at all. He doesn’t have to be as good as Machado. Just good.

  • emjayinTN

    Manny Machado would still be at AA/AAA if he had signed with the Pirates. He could possibly have been Jordy Mercer, but where else would he have been brought up to play. B’more had a need and he has responded. Possibly 7 prospects in the Top 75 and we are already loaded at the MLB level? The Pirates have a strong case to start next season with Rodriguez, Liriano, Locke, and Cole in the Rotation with Rodriguez and Liriano gone after 2014 – we may see Taillon, Kingham, Glasnow, or Heredia quicker than expected. If we spread the pitchers, the impact of Arb or Free Agency may not be so tough.

    • emjayinTN

      Tim: Forgot to ask, but why has there been so little info available regarding Austin Meadows, JaCoby Jones, and the other draftees. Two or three signings every day and now absolutely nothing – are we having difficulties? Are they waiting to see what happens with Moran? BA has Meadows projected at $3.1 mil and Jones at about $612,000. It looks like they are waiting on the others until they get these two in the fold.

  • MaineBucs

    Geez – 3 starts in the majors and your no longer on prospect’s lists.

    Two players in the top 15, combined with Cole in Pittsburgh is a great showing for the Pirates.

    And — Is Stanton really worth two top 15 prospects and Sanchez and others? — Tallion and Polanco would be on my no trade list; even for a player that has the production that Stanton offers. .

    • Jeremy J Stein

      ^ This.

      How many teams trade away all there prospects for players like Stanton and it doesn’t work out.

      The Pirates don’t HAVE to win this year. The clock is Andrew McCutchen’s contract which expires after the 2018 season. So that means HAVE to win in 2018. Until then they should just keep things simple, don’t trade away top prospects or offer stupid contracts to players that won’t earn them in the long term.

      Assuming the top prospects make it to the Majors and are somewhere between average and good the next 2 or 3 years will give the Pirates more talent than they could get through trades or FA signings.

      2014 – Tailon and Polanco, maybe Pimentel does well at PNC, return of Irwin and McPherson perhaps. If Kingham does well at AA this year and AAA next. Welker, Black and maybe Cumpton as bullpen options. Tony Sanchez will be available.

      2015 – Kingham for sure, maybe Hanson and Glasnow. Who knows, maybe we’ll see Casey Sadler, Allie and or Bell?

      2016 – Glasnow for sure this year. Does Clay Holmes bounce back and make it by 2016 (maybe as a releiver)? Meadows and Herrera maybe? We could also see Heredia this year too. Perhaps we’ll see McGuire this year or 2017.

      Here is my 2015 linup and starting rotation
      LF – Marte
      2B – Walker
      CF – McCutchen
      1B – Jones
      RF – Polanco
      3B – Alvarez
      SS – Mercer
      C – Sanchez

      Bench – McKenry, G. Sanchez, d’Arnaud(or De Jesus), Tabata and a Free agent (veteran!!! heh)

      SP – Cole
      SP – Tailon
      SP – Locke
      SP – Kingham
      SP – Pimentel

      Bullpen – Gomez, Mazarro, Welker, Black, Watson, Wilson and Melancon (CL).

      Debatable whether GFJ and Gaby will still be around in a couple years.

  • buster09

    MaineBucs : no doubt about it. Only a fool ,or John Scheurholtz.,would make a deal like that.

  • HamburgBucco

    Jeremy J Stein is right, we should just ride the natural wave of talent that will come to Pittsburgh whenever we promote our top prospects when they’re ready, just like we’ve recently done with Marte. Mercer, Cole and Sanchez.

    If we have to trade those prospects I would certainly not trade THREE of them away, even for one superstar player like Stanton who is apparently the best thing since bread came sliced, provided he can stay injury free.

    Also, let’s not forget there is always at least one prospect under the radar who suddenly gets promoted and surprises, like Cumpton, who has done very well in his few MLB starts for us, virtually out of nowhere.
    The Pirates are the second best team in baseball, without Polanco, Taillon or Stanton in the first team.

    I would take five years in the first team of Taillon, Polanco and Sanchez over three years of Stanton any day of the week. Stanton ain’t worth the risk of multiple top prospects, we’re fine without him.

    • Jeremy J Stein

      My thoughts are, you don’t make a big trade like that until you have a log jam at multiple positions that will keep major league caliber players in the minors for 2 or 3 years.
      The Pirates aren’t there yet. They may never be there with Starting pitching. Once Polanco makes it, then the outfield will be a log jam somaybe you consider trading one of Bell, Meadows, Barnes or perhaps one of the other international guys.
      As of right now, I would prioritize any future return in this order:
      1. Starting Pitching
      2. 3B Alvarez replacement when he can’t play the position or leaves.
      3. Future 1B prospect or veteran with 3 or 4 years control.
      4. Perhaps a SS updgrade over Mercer but that will be tough to find.
      Catcher may or may not be a wild card. Martin will be here next year and hopefully eventually Sanchez will be able to take over and not miss a beat. If he does falter, then maybe one of McGuire, Mathisen, De Jang will be ready in 4 or 5 years. If all 4 are succesful then the Pirates have a log jam at the catching position.

  • jaygray007

    In Jason Parks’ prospect chat, he implies that the pirates are a top 3 system.

    “Josh (Kansas): Could the Cubs top the Organizational rankings after the trade deadline or are the Cards way above everyone else?

    Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects: They won’t top the Twins. They could top the Pirates if they decide to go for the post-season by trading from an extremely deep system. Cubs are definitely in the top 5 of all farm systems, and after the music stops this season, they could easily find themselves sitting comfortably in the top 3.”

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    It is really encouraging to see guys like Polanco, Allie, Kingham, Glasnow, Hanson, Bell, Lambo, and a few others really step up this year as they advance or get ready to advance up through the organization.

    On the flip side, compared to expectations for 2013, would you consider players like Willy Garcia, Jose Osuna, Eric Avila, and Holmes to all be disappointments so far this season?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    Boy, compared to last year’s dismal performance, Ryan Hafner has really turned it around this year – a complete 180. Won tonight – is now 5-0 out of the bullpen, ERA below 3.00, and opponent’s BA below .200. Still only 21 years old.

    Does he merit a move up to Bradenton soon?

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