Reese McGuire is one of three top 20 prospects on the GCL squad.

First Pitch: The GCL Roster Will Have a Lot of Upside Later This Month

Reese McGuire is one of three top 20 prospects on the GCL squad.

Reese McGuire is one of three top 20 prospects on the GCL squad.

The Pirates went with a lot of upside this year in the draft. They also signed a lot of prep players, including a few over-slot guys after the tenth round. I was looking over the GCL roster this afternoon, and realized that in a few weeks this could be one of the biggest upside rosters in the system. Consider the following lineup and rotation, once everyone is ready.

C – Reese McGuire: Danny Arribas is also a good, athletic catching prospect, although nothing close to McGuire, who is the top catching prospect in the system.

1B – Maximo Rivera: This is one area where the Pirates don’t have a high upside guy.

2B – Ulises Montilla: I’ve really liked what I’ve seen out of Montilla so far.

SS – Trae Arbet: He’s looked smooth defensively at shortstop and has a lot of speed. Carlos Ozuna has shown some good tools at the position too.

3B – Adam Landecker: He’s more of an organizational guy, but has great defense.

LF – Candon Myles: I don’t see a lot of upside here, but he’s got a lot of speed and is hitting well. Luis Urena is also an interesting guy with a lot of power, but can’t hit a breaking ball.

CF – Austin Meadows: Between Meadows and McGuire, the team will have two top ten prospects.

RF – Nick Buckner: Not sure if he’ll play LF or RF, but either way it will be fun to watch him and see if he can tap into his raw power.


Jon Sandfort – I wrote about him today.

Adrian Grullon – 6′ 7″ right-hander who throws 90-93 with a good curveball.

Neil Kozikowski – Hasn’t thrown in a game yet, but the Pirates obviously like him since they gave him an over-slot bonus. Can throw 90-92 out of high school.

Billy Roth – Another over-slot signing who can hit 92 out of high school.

Blake Taylor – The second round pick gives this team three of our top 20 prospects. He can get it up to 94, but can’t sit at that level yet.

Wei-Chung Wang – One of the more interesting arms. Fastball velocity is upper 80s and touching low 90s. He’s been higher in the past. Has a great breaking ball which is getting a ton of strikeouts. Potential for three average MLB pitches with great command as a lefty.

Hayden Hurst – He has struggled with control so far, but has a good arm and can sit 91-94 MPH.

Not everyone in the lineup is a prospect, but between the lineup and the starting candidates, I count 13 players who would draw serious consideration for my top 50. I get a lot of “when will Player A debut” questions, so to answer those:

Hitters – It usually takes about a week or two. Trae Arbet signed right away, and had a week before the season started. He didn’t get into games as a shortstop until the second week of the season. Reese McGuire took about two weeks to get ready for games. I’m guessing Meadows and Buckner will be playing next week at the earliest.

Pitchers – They have to be built back up. To give you an idea of the timeline, Blake Taylor has a sim game on Sunday. That’s usually one of the final steps before actual game action, so I’d put him about a week away. He was one of the first prep pitchers to sign. I’d put Kozikowski and Roth a few weeks behind him, possibly making their debuts in mid-July. Last year Jon Sandfort signed right away and made his debut on July 13th. It seems Taylor is on that same timeline. Kozikowski signed a week after Taylor, and Roth signed two weeks after Taylor, so they should be 1-2 weeks behind, respectively.

Links and Notes

**Download the newest episode of the Pirates Prospects Podcast: P3 Episode 12: Prospect Analysis on Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia, and Tyler Glasnow. Also includes an interview with 2013 first round pick Reese McGuire.

**The newest episode of the Pirates Roundtable is up. This week we had Jim Rosati from North Side Notch, Ed Giles from In Clemente Weather, and David Manel of Bucs Dugout stopped by.

**2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker.

**2013 Pittsburgh Pirates International Signing Tracker.

**Jon Sandfort: The Next Prep Pitcher to Watch?

**Prospect Watch: Gregory Polanco and Alex Dickerson Hit Back to Back Homers.

**Minor League Schedule: Kingham Goes For Altoona Tonight.

**DSL Prospect Watch: Win Streaks For Both Pirates Affiliates.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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.

First Pitch: Could the Pirates Have Five All-Stars This Year?

Next Story »

First Pitch: How Are Last Month’s Promoted Prospects Doing at New Levels?

  • Lee Young

    Makes you almost want to go down and watch them (if it wasn’t so dang hot down there).

    Of course, how much more HHH can there be than what is here in Pa? lol

  • buster09

    Lee,are you anywhere close to the Altoona area ? I live about 15 miles from there.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    4 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    1 day ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles