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 MLB.com. (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 MLB.com. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com picked his top farm system today, and went with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In another article, Mayo’s MLB.com 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.

Tim Williams

Author: 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 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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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 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.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 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.

    • https://www.facebook.com/scott.skink 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…

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin 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.

        • http://www.deanmanifest.blogspot.com 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.

  • http://www.deanmanifest.blogspot.com 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).