With the Pittsburgh Pirates signing Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell last night, the question has to be asked: where does the farm system rank in all of baseball?  I follow prospects throughout the game, and I see plenty of them when I'm on the road, but I can't say I follow other systems enough to get a feel for how the Pirates stack up against the rest of the league.  However, you don't have to follow other systems to know that there's something special going on in the Pirates' system.

A year ago today (remember, the 2010 signing deadline was on August 16th) the Pirates didn't have a single pitching prospect in the system with top of the rotation potential.  They had guys who were projectable, but no sure things.  Then, by the time midnight rolled around, they had top prep pitching prospects...

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