On Wednesday, MLB.com released their list of top ten right-handed pitching prospects in baseball and Jameson Taillon was fifth on the list. On the previously released lists, Alen Hanson was named the eighth best shortstop and the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t have anyone among the top ten left-handed pitchers.
First the omission. Tyler Glasnow didn’t make the top ten despite an amazing season at West Virginia as a 20-year-old. Glasnow was however mentioned in the “next wave” section and he was only one of two players mentioned, so that likely means he was considered strongly for the tenth spot. He average 13.3 K/9 during the regular season this year, posting a 2.18 ERA and a .142 BAA.
As for Jameson Taillon, the ranking in the top ten shouldn’t come as any surprise. He has been rated among the top twenty prospects in the game since being drafted and he has the pitching arsenal to be a front line starter, possibly as soon as this July. Taillon will start the season in Indianapolis, where he went 1-3, 3.89 in six regular season starts and he also threw five shutout innings in his only playoff appearance.
A surprise among the rankings for Taillon, might be that he had the lowest rated fastball among the group of ten pitchers. On the 20-80 scouting scale, he was rated a 65, while the others were all 70, except Jonathan Gray, who got an 80. Taillon throws 94-97 MPH and has hit triple digits, so the low rating seems to be unjust.
Taillon was recently invited to Spring Training and while he has no shot of making the big league club on Opening Day, he isn’t far off either. He suffered a minor setback during the Arizona Fall League, when he had a minor groin injury that limited him to two innings, but he is healthy and ready to go for the 2014 season.
Tomorrow’s top ten list will be catchers, where Reese McGuire is a possibility. Friday is first baseman, an obvious weak spot in the Pirates farm system.