Gregory Polanco is the top prospect in the system, and should be up by mid-season.

Polanco Tops MLB Pipeline’s Top 20 Pirates List

MLB Pipeline released their top 20 list of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects today and Gregory Polanco heads the group. Almost every prospect ranking had Polanco ahead of Jameson Taillon, so this ranking is no surprise. The Pirates placed six players in MLB’s top 100 list and this latest ranking has them in the same order.

After Polanco and Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, Alen Hanson and Josh Bell round out the top six. It was mentioned during the top 100 rankings that Reese McGuire and Nick Kingham just missed, so not surprisingly, they rank seven and eight respectively.

Harold Ramirez and Luis Heredia round out the top ten. While the order is different for most people, there seems to be a near consensus that these are the top ten prospects in the system.

The bottom ten have some rankings that you don’t see anywhere else, including Willy Garcia ranked 11th. Garcia has all the tools to be a great player, but his plate patience and strikeout rates are a big concern and could keep him from fully reaching his potential. He has the best outfield arm in the system, can play strong defense in right field and run, plus he has power potential and he is just 21 years old. The problem is he walked 23 times last year and had 154 strikeouts. Those numbers were both worse than his 2012 total at West Virginia(32/131 BB/K) in virtually the same amount of plate appearances. It’s tough to expect those numbers to get better as he moves up, but if he can put it together, he would be deserving of this 11th ranking by next year.

The 12th ranked player is Brandon Cumpton, which is also somewhat higher than most. Cumpton is more of a safe pick with a lower upside, while some of the players immediately after him have a bigger chance at not reaching their potential, but their potential is much higher.

The rest of the top 20 are common names in this range. Going from 13 to 20, they are Barrett Barnes, Tony Sanchez, Wyatt Mathisen, Clay Holmes, Stolmy Pimentel, JaCoby Jones, Jin-De Jhang and Cody Dickerson.

Our own top twenty rankings had Andrew Lambo, Joely Rodriguez and Blake Taylor in the 14-16 spots.

Share This Article

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.

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

Next Story »

Polanco and Taillon Make Top 20 Rookie List

  • ElGaupo77

    Garcia was the 6th youngest person in the FSL last year. IF he gets bumped up to Altoona he’d probably be amongst the youngest there. Still time to get better, especially since he has power and a RF arm.

    • John Dreker

      He has the tools, but those BB/K numbers are hard to overcome the higher you go. I’ve seen him have great games and I’ve seen him look completely lost at the plate. He had trouble getting playing time in Winter ball this year, so he is still pretty far behind the competition at this point. The #11 ranking is too high for him now, but as I mentioned, if he cuts down on the strikeouts, draws some more walks, then he could move up the charts quickly.

      • smurph

        Love the avatar, John.

        • John Dreker

          Thanks. Not sure why it took me so long to put one on here.

  • PirateFanMan

    I’ve always been big on Willy. I saw him and he has some KILLER power stored up in that bat!

  • SportOMania

    It seems guys who start with power seem to have a higher failure rate than those who develop it. I think young guys get enamored with hitting the ball long and are reluctant to work on the other facets of hitting.

Latest Analysis

  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    6 hours ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    9 hours ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    11 hours ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    1 day ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Jameson Taillon

    The Next Steps in Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John Rehab Process

    2 days ago

    Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means ...

    Read More
  • Sean Rodriguez

    The Keys to Sean Rodriguez Being a Productive Hitter

    3 days ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates added Sean Rodriguez at a high cost this off-season. They traded promising pitching prospect Buddy Borden to the Rays, getting Rodriguez in return after ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles