Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon

Polanco and Taillon Make Top 20 Rookie List

Baseball America announced their picks for the top 20 rookies in 2014, with a write-up of what you can expect from each player this season. Two Pittsburgh Pirates players made their list. Gregory Polanco came in at #9, while Jameson Taillon was 16th. This is different from their prospect rankings in that it only considers rookies they expect to play significant roles in the majors this year.

For Polanco, they have the same prediction most people do. He will force his way into the right field job at mid-season. BA praises his command of the strike zone and how it will help his power output in the future. Reports on Polanco from Spring Training had his weight up to 230 pounds, which is 60 more than when he signed back in 2009, so he is filling out that large frame.

Taillon gets the Gerrit Cole comparison for his path to the majors and that seems most likely. BA mentions his plus stuff and the fact it hasn’t translated to the stats they expected, though they point out that Cole also had underwhelming results and he transitioned well to the majors. Taillon should see the majors around the same time as Polanco and both should be key parts to the Pirates second half this year.

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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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  • stickyweb

    No Kolton Wong? Cards only have 1 player listed. Polanco ranked higher than Tavares? Looks like the Bucs are gonna own the Cards this year!

    • John Dreker

      Wong is a tough one. He looks like he will probably be a solid player, but nothing special. He should see a lot of time though. I’m wondering if his poor debut last year led to some doubts because he was really bad

    • SteveW

      Tavares is a better prospect than Polanco but is a year younger and doesn’t have a path to a starting job in St Louis this year.

  • Bonds Top Hand

    Surpirised neither Eddie Butler nor Jon Gray made the list from the Rockies. Top of the rotation talent in both of those guys. And one or the other should make the club this year. Much like Cole and Taillon.

    • John Dreker

      I think Gray will make the majors, but not until late season, to the point he could still be a rookie in 2015. They might be thinking the same thing with Butler

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    Given their abilities and their opportunities to play right away this year, I am predicting Castellanos as AL rookie of the year and Hamilton as the NL rookie of the year. I am not sold on Hamilton long term – because of his weak bat – but, if hits at least .260 and plays well in CF, he will steal a ton of bases and will impact a lot of games with his rare speed. Castellanos, IMHO, is a stud – and will hit at least 25 HRs this year and play 3B all year for a strong Tigers team.

    • stickyweb

      I don’t know about Castellanos, but I don’t think Hamilton is going to be anything special at all, probably not even hold on to a full time starting slot. How do a .256 BA and .308 OBP and 3:1 K to BB ratio at AAA last year translate into success in MLB? Sure he’s fast as anything, but he can’t steal 1B, as they say (only Lloyd McClendon could do that!)

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