Baseball America released their 2011 top 10 prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which was compiled by Dejan Kovacevic. The rankings can be found here, and for BA subscribers, you can read scouting reports on each player here.
The top prospect isn’t a surprise, with Jameson Taillon taking the honors. Tony Sanchez follows Taillon in second place, followed by Stetson Allie and Starling Marte. Luis Heredia rounds out the top five, putting the three highly touted pitching prospects from the 2010 draft/international class all in the top five.
The 2010 Altoona pitchers come next, with Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, and Jeff Locke in order in the 6-8 spots. Zack Von Rosenberg follows that group at number nine, and Chase D’Arnaud finishes off the list at number ten.
BA also has a projected 2014 lineup, which includes Tony Sanchez at catcher, Andrew Lambo at first base, Chase D’Arnaud at shortstop, and Starling Marte in center field. The lineup, which includes Neil Walker at second, Pedro Alvarez at third, Andrew McCutchen in left, and Jose Tabata in right, is almost identical to the one I have. The exception is that I have Alvarez at first, with Jarek Cunningham at third, although I think each lineup will eventually include Alvarez at first, and Anthony Rendon at third.
The pitchers in that group are interesting. Taillon is listed as the number one starter, and it’s not a stretch to assume he will be in the majors by 2014. James McDonald is listed as the number two starter, which I like, as I’m a fan of his abilities. Following those two are Luis Heredia, Bryan Morris, and Rudy Owens, with Stetson Allie as the closer. I think Taillon could make it to the majors by the 2014 season, although I doubt Allie would be there (unless they make a quick switch to the bullpen), and I definitely don’t think Heredia will be there at the age of 19, turning 20 during the season.
Six of the ten spots match the 2011 Pirates Prospects rankings, and the only player on the Baseball America list that isn’t in the Pirates Prospects top 10 is D’Arnaud.