It was a busy news day today, but the big news to start the day was that the mid-season prospect rankings came out from both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. The Pirates had four in the Baseball Prospectus rankings, and had five in Baseball America’s Top 50. Neither list saw the Pirates with any top 20 talent, which isn’t a huge surprise.
Gregory Polanco was just promoted, which removes the only guy who had a chance to be a top 20 prospect. Jameson Taillon is recovering from Tommy John surgery, so his stock was expected to fall out of the top 20. Tyler Glasnow continues to trend up in the prospect lists, but will probably need a reduction in control or success in Altoona to move higher. Josh Bell has soared up the rankings, but is another guy who would need success in Double-A to continue moving up. Austin Meadows could have a chance at the top 20 if he tears up South Atlantic League pitching over the final two months.
All of the top guys are in the majors right now, after mid-season promotions the last few years (Polanco, Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte). It’s good that the Pirates still have 4-5 guys who could be considered top 50 talent in baseball, and that doesn’t include the other guys who could easily make the 51-100 list.
The best part about the lists is that three of the consensus players were pitchers, and pitching is a need for the Pirates in the long-term. Taillon, Glasnow, and/or Kingham should join the Pirates in the next year or two, and possibly earlier for Kingham. They won’t all reach their ceilings, but that mix plus Cole should give the Pirates some solid young pitching at the top of the rotation, as long as the Pirates keep them together.
Those two become linked, as Liriano could step in for Cole after Cumpton makes what would amount to one spot start. If Cole comes back after the All-Star break, then the Pirates will have that tough decision I talked about the other day, involving Liriano.
**Pirates Are Moving Closer to the Wild Card in Latest Playoff Projections. They’re going to need to do better against winning teams, and teams in their division, in order to continue the recent upward trend.
**Prospect Watch: Rehab is the Theme For Monday’s Minor League Games. The first half of the season had a lot of injuries in the system. A lot of those players are now on their way back.
**Harold Ramirez Placed on Disabled List. Unfortunately, the injury problems aren’t totally gone.
**Pirates Trade Chris Dickerson to the Cleveland Indians. He started in left field for Cleveland tonight, and went 1-for-2. I saw several people saying the Pirates should have replaced Travis Snider with Dickerson to give him a shot in the majors. I don’t think that would have been a bad idea.