Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus published full scouting reports for his Top 11 Pirates prospects very early this morning. He also released his rankings for prospects 12-20. Since the Pirates were the first organization on the schedule, the information is available to non-subscribers for free. That is a nice little bonus, so head over and take a look. Kevin is answering questions in the comments section, as well.
You will quickly see that he is valuing potential very highly in his ranking. The top three players (Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, Luis Heredia) are teenage pitchers who have yet to officially throw a professional pitch. Heredia as the number three prospect seems particularly bold, considering he is only 16-years-old.
The biggest surprise to me is the omission of Justin Wilson. Goldstein explained in the comments section that he had Wilson at number 21.
Not forgotten, in fact, he was No. 21 when all was said and done. Scouts just aren’t as high on him as the numbers might suggest as he has good-not-great stuff and command/control issues. Still, the farther you go down the list, the more granular the rankings get. He could fit logically, anywhere from 15-23, and in the end, for me, he was the last cut.
Quincy Latimore slipped onto the list at number 20. I have never seen him play, but I have trouble even considering him a prospect.
The top 11 is made up of nine pitchers, plus Tony Sanchez and Starling Marte. Obviously, that is influenced by the front office’s recent emphasis on acquiring pitching, but it is also an indictment on the organization’s lack of position player prospects.
Kevin also ranked the organization’s top 10 players under the age of 25, which includes five who have exhausted their prospect status. This statement on Pedro Alvarez may excite Pirates fans.
The version of Alvarez that made adjustments and slugged in September is the real deal, and 2011 could be a year where the rest of the country sits up and takes notice.