Who will be the top prospect heading into the 2015 season?

Thirteen Pirates Prospects Rank Among Best At Their Positions

Baseball America released their position-by-position rankings of minor league prospects and thirteen Pittsburgh Pirates players made the cut. Right-handed pitchers and outfielders, as well as catchers, are all spots that are well-represented with Pirates prospects.

Gregory Polanco

Gregory Polanco ranked second among all center fielders

Jameson Taillon was tops among Pirates right-handed pitchers, coming in at tenth place. Showing how deep the minors are in RHP, Tyler Glasnow was ranked 20th overall.  Nick Kingham was ranked 27th. This list was by far the biggest, going down to 65 spots, allowing Luis Heredia to make the list as the 56th best righty.

For catchers, Reese McGuire was ranked as the seventh best prospect, while Tony Sanchez was 13th and Wyatt Mathisen came in at 24th place. Jin-De Jhang doesn’t rank far behind Mathisen(one spot on our list), but he wasn’t listed in the top twenty-five.

The outfielders were split up into corner outfielders and center fielders. On the center field list, Gregory Polanco ranked second behind Byron Buxton, the top prospect in baseball. Austin Meadows came in at eighth and Barrett Barnes barely made the list, grabbing the 30th and final spot.

As for corner outfielders, Josh Bell and Harold Ramirez finished #11 and #12 respectively. This list went to 40 spots and no other Pirates were on it.

For shortstops, Alen Hanson was the eight best overall and only Pirates player on the list.

The Pirates failed to place any in the top relievers list, which only went to ten. They also didn’t have any top left-handed pitchers, a list which went to thirty spots. Our top twenty prospect list has Joely Rodriguez, Blake Taylor and Cody Dickson in the 15-17 spots, so it isn’t a completely bare position in the system.

There was also no one at third base, first base or second base, obvious areas of weakness in another otherwise deep system.

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

Jameson Taillon Throwing Live BP to Alen Hanson and Michael Martinez (Video)

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  • Y2JGQ2

    Anyone want to start a poll on the first out of those infield positions that gets a draft pick and in what round? I’m guessing 3rd round

    • John Dreker

      I don’t think either were snubbed, but JaCoby Jones could easily make this list next year at second base and fairly high up. Whether the Pirates want to use him there, or at shortstop or outfield long-term is unknown at this time. I’d keep him at shortstop and move him to second base late in the process if he is needed there, occasionally letting him play there as he moves up. Adam Frazier could be another solid player at second base. The bat should play well and everything else could be average across the board except power. Jones is a sleeper prospect to watch.

      As for this upcoming draft, if they want a solid college bat, they shouldn’t wait too long, there isn’t much out there right now and some of them are corner outfielders and one of the best is a catcher. With the 24th pick, they should be able to get a solid third baseman, so I could see them going that route early and stocking up on pitching late, because it’s a deep pool this year(HS and college).

      • NastyNate82

        Do you think there’s any possibility they could move Jones to 3B? I know he doesn’t profile as a “typical” 3B, but if he has speed, good defense, and moderate power, that isn’t such a bad thing. I only ask this because I think sometimes positions get pigeon-holed a bit too much, specifically corner IF’s and in relation to power. Of course, it sounds like he’s never played there, so I admit that’s kind of more of a longshot than any realistic possibility.

        • John Dreker

          I wouldn’t rule out the move, but I haven’t heard it mentioned so I left the spot off. Jones is a top notch athlete, who could probably play anywhere on the field besides catcher/pitcher. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with a full season and hope his injury is behind him

      • http://www.facebook.com/matt.beam.16 Matt Beam

        Would love it if he could turn into our version of Ben Zobrist (albeit with more speed and less power)

  • Buccoinohio

    John, Just wanted to say how much I appreciate all of your work. I have been following this site for awhile. I finally got around to registering so that I could comment. The coverage you did this winter was awesome. Thanks!

    • John Dreker

      Thank you, I appreciate it. It’s baseball therapy for me, I have to do the Winter League coverage otherwise I’d go crazy waiting for Spring Training. It also makes it easier to transition back into the writing grind during the regular season.

  • duckwoes

    Just want to reiterate Buccoinohio’s sentiments John. Excellent work all around, I always look forward to your articles and reports

    • John Dreker

      Thank you very much.

  • sixdeuces

    I did a quick count and it looks like the Cards, Cubs, Reds and Brewers had a combined total of 14 players on the list. The Bucs nearly doubled that.

  • Andrew

    I am not a member, did anyone see where Robbie Ray ranked on the LHP list. I was wondering because I saw this inane defense of the Fister trade.


    • John Dreker

      Ray was ranked 16th among lefties. I believe the articles are all free, so you should be able to check them out

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