While the Altoona prospect list was loaded with depth, it only had three prospects who will be among our top 20 prospects in the system. Indianapolis not only had the same depth, but it also has a lot of talent near the top of the system, giving them the best overall list. Some of those players have already graduated from the prospect list, as you will see below. They are still considered young talent in the system, which gives the Pirates some key pieces for both the future and for the current roster.
Not only is this a very strong top ten list, three players who didn't put in enough time to qualify are quality prospects, and the "other notables" section at the bottom has another five players who are solid depth options for the 2017 season. The Pirates will get a lot of use out of the players on this list in 2017, with some being key pieces for the foreseeable future, while other will end up as solid bench/bullpen options. When you add in the strong group of Altoona prospects who should move up a level, Indianapolis looks like it could be the most interesting team to follow next season as well.
TOP 10 INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS PROSPECTS
The cutoff for eligibility on this list was 140 at-bats, 40 innings pitched, or 20 relief appearances. This excluded Austin Meadows, Elias Diaz and Edgar Santana from qualifying. Unlike the lower-level lists, this list factors in actual results more than potential and upside. The latter is still factored in, but this is the level where we want to see players producing on the field and showing their tools in games.
1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP - Glasnow received the top spot on this list, even though the 2016 season didn't go as well as he hoped. He came into the year as a player who looked like he just needed to work on things while waiting for the Super Two deadline to pass before he was called up in June. Unfortunately, the things he needed to work on at the end of 2015, are still things he needs to work on now. Glasnow was forced to throw his changeup more often in May, and except for a couple games, the pitch didn't show any signs of improvement. He also had issues with his fastball command and throwing his curveball early in the count for strikes. That led to 62 walks in 110.2 innings. On the bright side, Glasnow turned 23 in August, so we are still talking about a very young pitcher. His fastball velocity sat 93-96 MPH this season, although it dipped down a few MPH at times. The curve was still extremely effective, especially with two strikes. Glasnow posted a .175 BAA and a 1.87 ERA for Indianapolis. He got a taste of the big leagues and struck out 24 batters in 23.1 innings. He's going to need that third pitch and better command to reach his full potential, but that potential is a top of the rotation starter, and time is still on his side.
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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.