Gerrit Cole Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates Rank Fourth Among Top 25-And-Under Talent

Baseball Prospectus released their organization rankings of 25-and-Under Talent and the Pittsburgh Pirates were ranked fourth overall. This list differs from their top prospects list, because it includes players already in the majors, which adds Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte and Jose Tabata to the list. The Pirates are ranked behind three other National League teams, the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and the top-ranked St Louis Cardinals.

According to their list, the Pirates top ten 25-and-Under players are:

1. Gerrit Cole

2. Starling Marte

3. Jameson Taillon

4. Gregory Polanco

5. Tyler Glasnow

6. Reese McGuire

7. Josh Bell

8. Nick Kingham

9. Austin Meadows

10. Jose Tabata

The three-through-nine rankings on their list are the same order as their prospect rankings, which has Reese McGuire much higher than most and Austin Meadows lower than everyone else. They were also higher on Taillon than Polanco, which strays from most lists.

The good part about this list is obviously that young talent will likely be around for awhile, although with seven of them having no major league experience, there are also no guarantees. The Pirates have a deep farm system though, so someone like Alen Hanson not being ranked on this list, just shows that there is more than just these ten players. The part you could say is bad, is the fact the top five teams(Marlins ranked fifth) are all National League teams and the best one is in the Pirates division.

The rest of the NL Central finished fairly spread out. The Chicago Cubs were tenth overall, while the Cincinnati Reds came in at #23 and the Milwaukee Brewers finished last.


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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.

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Reese McGuire Named One of the Top Defensive Catchers in the Minors

  • Leefoo Rug Bug

    McGuire ahead of Kingham?

    • John Dreker

      They are very high on defensive catchers I’ve heard. No one else had McGuire that high and I don’t think it’s a slight against him to say he needs to prove he can hit enough to be a major league regular because there were questions about his bat coming into the draft.

      • John Dreker

        I would personally rank them Cole, Polanco, Marte, Taillon, Glasnow, Meadows, Hanson, Kingham, McGuire, Bell

        • Ron Loreski

          Tabata has to be on this list because he is an established major leaguer. I certainly would rank him above Josh Bell.

          • John Dreker

            It’s all about upside and Bell is a potential 30+ homer player. If Tabata were on another team(contract aside) the Pirates wouldn’t even consider a one for one deal for Bell. It’s really not that close either.

            • csnumber23

              Agreed, I have no idea why Tabata is even in this discussion. He is a backup MLB player!

    • blackmax

      BP thinks that McGuire scores an 8 on makeup, and that means he is more likely than most to realize his talents.

  • ElGaupo77

    I love seeing Tabata on here. If he has a season with 40 doubles someday don’t count me as surprised.

  • jg941

    Not to mention Brandon Cumpton, Stolmy Pimentel, Joely Rodriguez, Casey Sadler, Jaff Decker, Luis Heredia, Harold Ramirez, etc. How many of THOSE guys would be showing up on OTHER teams’ Top 10 lists?

  • mysonisnamedafterRoberto

    There are a couple things I have noticed about this list. Two of the three teams in front of Pittsburgh, both Atlanta and St. Louis, have already had 7 make through Major League debuts. So these teams wouldn’t see a dramatic change in their Major League teams from this list. Now there is still the potential for growth once you are in the Major, but their team’s landscape won’t change a lot and the more you see player the more you learn how to handle and play against them. The other team, Washington, is very top heavy and a lot a lower talent on that list.

    • Andrew

      Let us hope (and pray) the Pirates development goes the way
      of the Braves/Card, and not say the Royals who a couple years ago had a record
      number of players in Baseball America’s top 100, and have not really had that talent come to fruition.

      • buster09

        No Bubba Starlings on that list,though I am not so sure that Bell’s swing is that much better Andrew.

  • csnumber23

    Jose Tabata has no business on this list. He is a backup caliber outfielder with no upside.

    John, I agree with your list except how can you put Polonco higher than Marte?? Marte is on the verge of being a star and Polonco hasn’t even gotten an at bat yet in the majors. I’ll admit he COULD end up better. Just like I think Taillon is going to be better than Cole but I can’t rank him higher yet when he hasn’t even thrown a pitch yet in the majors. Flip flop Polonco and Marte and my list is the same as yours.

    • clementeninjamonk

      It’s not John’s list. It’s from Baseball Prospectus.

      • csnumber23

        Actually Baseball Prospectus had Marte 2nd and Polonco 3rd. John posted his own top 10 in a post above, that was what I was referring to. I agree with list over Baseball Prospectus except with Marte and Polonco.

        • John Dreker

          Polanco has the higher upside. He provides all the same tools as Marte, plus plate patience and more power. Marte’s walk/strikeout rates both need to improve, his obp was helped greatly by 24 HBP and that isn’t something you can guarantee. Marte is also three years older, so he should be a more established player at that point, you can’t use that against Polanco

          • csnumber23

            I disagree completely! I don’t agree that he has more power or speed than Marte. He does have better plate patience. Lets see him do something in the show before we say he has higher upside than budding star has.

            • John Dreker

              I didn’t say he had more speed and the consensus is that Polanco will hit for more power. Marte is a 15-20 homer guy, while Polanco will be 25-30. You’re not taking age into factor here, three years at this stage is a big difference. He definitely has the higher upside because Marte’s poor plate patience and high K rate will always hold him back

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