Baseball America released their South Atlantic League top 20 prospects for the 2013 season, and of course Tyler Glasnow was on the list. The right-hander finished second in the rankings, which snapped the Pirates’ streak of number one overall prospects on these lists.
BA noted all of the usual stuff on Glasnow. He’s a 6′ 7″ pitcher who throws 92-97 and had 164 strikeouts and a .142 BAA in a year where he just turned 20. They graded his curveball a 60 on the 20-80 scale, and said that his changeup showed improvement and is potentially average. BA also quoted an NL scout who said Glasnow has gotten better each time out. Of course, the biggest thing for Glasnow is his lack of control, which comes from a lack of repeating his delivery.
Glasnow was the only Pirates prospect on the list. The only other guy who might have had a chance was Josh Bell. The top prospect in the league was Eddie Butler, who is a right-handed pitcher in the Rockies system. Butler looks to be the same as Glasnow, only more advanced, with better command, a better changeup, and he moved up to Double-A by the end of the year. The biggest thing with Glasnow’s ratings is separating the potential and where he is now. He’s got to potential to be one of the top prospects in the Pirates system, and possibly the game. But he also has some things to work on before he gets to that point.
I’ve noted several times that I feel Glasnow is ahead of where Jameson Taillon was at this level. Taillon also had fastball command issues. Those didn’t lead to a ton of walks, but they did lead to him getting hit harder than he should have. He also didn’t have much of a changeup and was more of a thrower than the pitcher he is now. Taillon improved in all of those areas over the next two seasons. Glasnow could very well show the same improvements, but when doing rankings you can only assume so much when comparing a pitcher who hasn’t made those improvements to a pitcher who has made the improvements. That’s why it’s not a surprise to see Glasnow behind Butler on this list, and it’s why Taillon will be rated ahead of Glasnow by every outlet this off-season.
Here are the Pirates prospects in the SAL top 20 over the last five years:
2012: Gregory Polanco (3), Alen Hanson (6)
2011: Jameson Taillon (4)
2009: Rudy Owens (11), Tony Sanchez (12)