Andrew Lambo wouldn't be a bad alternative to the trade options. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Jonathan Mayo Says the Pirates Have the Top Farm System

Andrew Lambo would be on nearly every other team's top 20 list, but couldn't crack the Pirates top 20 on (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Andrew Lambo would be on nearly every other team’s top 20 list, but couldn’t crack the Pirates top 20 on (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Jonathan Mayo of picked his top farm system today, and went with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In another article, Mayo’s colleague, Jim Callis, went with the Houston Astros.

Mayo explains that he went with the Pirates because of their combination of impact talent and depth. He pointed out that they could have eight top 100 prospects, and that the rest of the guys in the top 20 leave something to like, even if they aren’t guaranteed to make the majors.

Mayo has been ranking prospects for some time, and pointed out the difference between this year’s team and previous teams. He said that in previous years teams, it was hard finding 20, or even 10 prospects to list. This year he points out that Brandon Cumpton and Andrew Lambo were left off the top 20 after making their big league debuts, which wouldn’t have happened a few years ago. He also notes that those two would have been on nearly any other organization’s top 20, showing the depth the Pirates have.

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.

Prospect Rewind: How Exicardo Cayones Changed Our Prospect Rankings

Next Story »

MLBTR Projects Burnett and Byrd Will Return to the Pirates

  • leefoo

    Wow! This is heady territory!

    And , I STILL think Lambo should be playing in either RF or 1B depending on who (if?) we sign or trade for.

  • leadoff

    Unfortunately we had to put up with the national media trying to shove the Cards farm down our throats. Nice to see someone has figured out the Pirate farm.
    I do believe that the Astros and the Cubs will probably catch the Pirates soon at their upper levels due to the high draft picks and the international signings they are getting, both of those systems are growing rapidly.

    • deacs

      Mexican Lefty Luis Heredia? I love to read this stuff as it makes me really look forward to the spring. It’s nice to know that even when Cole graduates you have guys continually behind him. And next year when Taillon and Polanco are up (God willing) there’ll still be talk of Glasnow, Meadows, hopefully Hanson, insert surprise prospect. Call it luck, call it better scouting, drafting with a high ceiling approach, but give Neal and the boys their due.

      • emjayinTN

        Taillon and Polanco should be up next June. The Pirates begin a 10 game home stand in late June which, if we wait until then, there will not be any chance of either becoming a Super Two; therefore we will get 2014 for free and then have them under control for 6 years beginning in 2015. The next kid up should then be Nick Kingham, RHSP, who will not turn 22 until next week. In Hi A he had 13 starts and posted a 6-3, 3.09 ERA, 70 IP, 55 H, 75K/14W with an average against of .194. In AA he started 12 games and was 3-3, 2.70 ERA, 73 IP, 69 H, 69K/30W and an average against of .220. He could start at AA and then move to AAA when Taillon comes up in June. If he does well he will get called up in September, and he could be available from there. If we do not have an immediate need, he will stay at AAA until June 2015 and then be called up.

      • leefoo

        Deacs…not following you “Mexican lefty Heredia”? Heredia is a Rh pitchet. did Mayo write that?

        • deacs

          He referred to Heredia as a Mexican Lefty. At first I laughed because it sounded like a boxer. But then I realized that Mayo knows about 1,000 times more about baseball than I do and I should just keep my mouth shut and enjoy the ranking.

    • Scott Skink

      Why the jealousy? The Cards could reach down and find guys like Wacha, Adams and half their bullpen ready to come up and contribute. Bucs didn’t have that luxury but they’re getting there.

      Too bad Cards didn’t have another SS though. Not that we do (not counting on seeing Hanson for awhile).

  • Kevin_Young

    Real question is if we go 79-83 this year, do we still have the same ranking? My gut says no…

    • Tim Williams

      I would think yes. They had a high ranking last year, and that was before the national attention to Glasnow, and a few other emerging players like Lambo, Cumpton, or guys further down like Harold Ramirez. Plus there’s the addition of Meadows and McGuire, which helps.

      • deacs

        I thought about that too. I think if the prospects come up and shine or contribute it influences the rankings a little in future years for completely different guys. I don’t think it’s so much the success of the team, more the success of the team’s prospects before them that influences the rankings – right or wrong.

        • Dean Manifest

          I agree. That’s only natural. If Wacha, Miller, Martinez and Rosenthal struggle, then an analyst may look at a player ranking similarly to them and wonder if he will struggle too.

  • Dean Manifest

    Also worth noting that Herrera, Black and Welker “should” be in our system, along with Grossman, Owens, etc. If the big league club hadn’t gotten good we’d still have these players, so when you evaluate Huntington’s ability to build a system they should probably be considered.

    I’m still not sure why we had to pay so much for Byrd in particular (parting with just Black OR Dilson would’ve seemed rather steep to me given that the Mets had a buyers market of one to negotiate with).

Latest Analysis

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

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    18 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

    2 days 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

    3 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

    5 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

    6 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

    7 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

    2 weeks 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