Pirates Have Seven in Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects

Keith Law ranked Tyler Glasnow ahead of Jameson Taillon. (Photo Credit: Tom Bragg)

Keith Law ranked Tyler Glasnow ahead of Jameson Taillon. (Photo Credit: Tom Bragg)

Keith Law is the latest to release his top 100 prospect list, with his list available here for ESPN Insider subscribers. Law had seven Pirates in his top 100, which is the same amount as Baseball Prospectus, and one more than MLB.com.

The top ranked Pirates prospect was Gregory Polanco, who came in at number 13. That’s the same ranking that MLB.com had, and higher than BP’s ranking of 24.

Next up was Tyler Glasnow, who ranked 20th overall. This is the highest Glasnow has been ranked. He was 27th by MLB.com and 42nd in BP’s rankings. This is also the first time that anyone has rated Glasnow ahead of Jameson Taillon.

Taillon was next on the list, coming in at number 27. This is the opposite of Glasnow, as Law has the lowest ranking on Taillon. MLB.com had him 16th and BP had him 19th.

Austin Meadows gave the Pirates four players in the top 50, and actually four in the top 35, since that is where he came in. Meadows has been all over the board, with MLB.com ranking him 45th and BP having a much lower rating of 89th.

Nick Kingham and Alen Hanson finished back to back, ranked 73rd and 74th respectively. Kingham missed the MLB.com rankings, but was 80th in BP’s rankings. Hanson missed BP’s rankings, but was 67th by MLB.com. Both guys seem to be in that group of 51-100 prospects who could fall outside of the top 100 in some lists.

Josh Bell rounded out the list for the Pirates, coming in at number 97. This is the third time Bell has been ranked in a top 100 this year, previously being ranked 74th by MLB.com and 77th by BP.

The biggest surprise of the list is the ranking of Glasnow ahead of Taillon. Law said that it’s not hard to imagine Glasnow with three plus pitches, and noted that he could still get stronger. Meanwhile, he knocked Taillon for having a fastball that is easier to hit than his velocity indicates, which has been a complaint, and is why his two-seam fastball and changeup developments will be so important. He wasn’t exactly down on Taillon, since he said that the right-hander has a good probability of being a top 30-40 starter in the majors at his peak.

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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  • jg941

    Wow! Glasnow a Top 20 prospect?!? OK……this may actually be getting TOO exciting now…….. :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.moore2 Kenny Moore

      Its a toss up as to who will be the better major league starter between Glasnow and Taillon but Glasnow has the higher ceiling. I love Taillon but like they mentioned about his FB, it can be hit at times. The same things were said about Cole but he had a fantastic finish to his rookie season. I just want to see Tailllon in the majors this year and Glasnow in Altoona by the end of 2014.

  • stickyweb

    At first glance, it looks like Law is more willing to move unheralded prospects (Glasnow, Kingham) who seriously outperform at the lower levels up the board faster than the other 2 rankings.

  • MaineBucs

    As also noted by Tim, I believe the most significant factor with this list is that the Pirates have 4 of the top 35 prospects in baseball, even though Cole graduated to the majors last year.

    The current system is featuring several great trends:

    The Pirates have prospects who could become impact players at the major league level.

    The Pirates have impact players at all tiers of their minor league system.

    The Pirate system has considerable depth.

    The current Pirate system has talent at more than 1 position. While none of the top tier talent plays 1st or 3rd, and there is no left-handed pitcher among the best prospects, the top talent includes pitchers who could pitch at the top of the rotation, a middle infielder, two centerfielders and a corner outfielder with power.

    All great to hear and read. Also, while I know that minor league talent doesn’t always perform as projected at the major league level, the current amount of talent in the minors at least provides hope that the Pirates can compete despite their payroll limitations.

  • deacs

    Good to hear Meadows mentioned in the same sentence as Mike Trout even though it wasn’t a direct comparison. What I love about Glasnow is he’s dominating and yet not a finished product by any means. As far as Taillon being “low” I think/hope that once he gets to the show that he can refine some things that Law mentions. I don’t see why he can’t.

    • emjayinTN

      I remember when Cole was being criticized for not being as overpowering as expected. These are kids who are developing and when they find that ability to locate their fastball within the strike zone, things progress very quickly. In fact, it was not that long ago that some of the experts were saying that Taillon looked better than Cole. It is an embarassment of riches to have guys like Taillon, Kingham, and Glasnow following right behind Cole.

  • https://profiles.google.com/116366873579930999690 Thom Kay

    Nick Ciuffo was top 100 but not Reese McGuire?

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

      “He wasn’t exactly down on Taillon, since he said that the right-hander has a good probability of being a top 30-40 starter in the majors at his peak.”

      At his peak? Crap….first MLB says he’ll be a good #3 pitcher and now this.

      I have not been a JT fan, but I was hoping I was wrong. So much for having two aces (unless Tyler comes around?)?

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

      not sure why that went in under the Nick Cuoffo question.

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

    “He wasn’t exactly down on Taillon, since he said that the right-hander has a good probability of being a top 30-40 starter in the majors at his peak.”

    At his peak? Crap….first MLB says he’ll be a good #3 pitcher and now this.

    I have not been a JT fan, but I was hoping I was wrong. So much for having two aces (unless Tyler comes around?)?

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

      Why is this a bad thing? There are some really good pitchers in the top 30-40.

      Look at it this way: Gerrit Cole projects to be a top 30 pitcher for sure. So if every team gets one of the top 30 guys on average, then the Pirates will either have two, with Taillon at the back end, or they’ll have one of the best from group number two.

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

        Tim…see my reply which missed yours by nanoseconds.

        You’d think, as a former college math major that I’d have caught that….

        duhhhhhhhhh

        :) :)

      • https://profiles.google.com/116366873579930999690 Thom Kay

        I like the assessment. Basically we should stop hoping for the next Justin Verlander and hope for the next Jordan Zimmermann. I can handle that.

        Still, passing on Manny Machado…

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

      I’m gonna reply to my own statement with what a blogger on PBC Asylum said to me:

      “But with 30 teams, that puts him at the upper half of #2 starters….
      Like Greinke, Bamgartner and other high end 2′s….
      As Bill Cowher would say, ” what’s wrong with that?”

      He convinced me…… :) :) :)

      • deacs

        Lee, what don’t you like about Taillon? I’m not being argumentative. I’ve never seen him pitch so I’m asking since it seems like you have and you seem to be pretty educated about a lot of the other prospects.

  • whereswaldo10

    Did anyone go look at the archives of Law’s Top 100? I enjoyed in 2008 (I believe), he had Travis Snider 7th best overall and Andrew McCutchen 12th. The same year he had Joba Chamberlain at 3 with some Kershaw guy 6th. I think Law does really good work though.

  • CalipariFan506

    Law absolutely hates the Pirates though he does a good job of not letting it bias him when he makes rankings like these.

  • JimBibbySweat

    Mr. Law will defend his ranking of Pedro Alvarez no higher than 35th or 38th to the death. I’ve called him out about it a couple times and he takes the time to humor me via Twitter. Of course, I enjoy another set of rankings and don’t really mind if a prospect is seemingly too high or too low, so long as the ranking is backed up.