Pirates Place Four in GCL Top 20 Prospects

Baseball America released their top 20 prospects for the 2012 Gulf Coast League season, with the Pittsburgh Pirates placing four players in the rankings. The four players were Wyatt Mathisen, Dilson Herrera, Tyler Glasnow, and Jin-De Jhang. Scouting reports can be viewed here, and the list for non-subscribers can be seen here.

Mathisen came in ranked 5th on the list. The catcher was drafted this year in the second round, and went on to hit for a .295/.388/.374 line in 139 at-bats. Mathisen has a very good shot at being a two-way catching prospect. Baseball America noted that Mathisen drew praise around the league for his all-around game.

Dilson Herrera was next, ranked number seven. Herrera made the jump to the US this year in his second season of pro ball, after signing in 2010 for $220 K. Per BA, he led the GCL in runs (41), extra-base hits (22), and total bases (96), while ranking second in homers (7), and slugging (.482). His bat makes him a prime candidate to be next year’s Alen Hanson, although there’s less of a chance for Herrera to play shortstop, with his best defensive position being second base.

Tyler Glasnow came in at 9th on the list. The right-hander was a fifth round pick in 2011, and signed for $600 K. He hit 96 MPH in his final game in State College, after being promoted from the GCL at the end of the year. The 6′ 7″, 195 pound right hander put up a 2.10 ERA in 34 innings in the GCL, with a 40:16 K/BB ratio. Baseball America noted his increased fastball velocity and the steep downhill angle that comes with it. They also noted that his curveball was a plus pitch at times, but that he needed to work on his changeup and command.

Jin-De Jhang was the last player to be ranked, coming in at number 19. The catcher signed for $250 K from Taiwan last year. He’s got a thick build, but has some surprising speed and agility for his size. He’s got a quick bat, and while he’s more of a gap hitter right now, Baseball America noted that he could hit 15-20 homers a year in his prime. He’s got an above-average arm, with pop times as low as 1.9 seconds, per BA.


  • One of parts I enjoy about this is that BA posts who was on the list five years ago.
    Here they are:
    1. Michael Burgess, of, Nationals – .770 OPS in AA at age 23, now with Cubs
    2. Jesus Montero, c, Yankees – good season for SEA, big part of the Pineda deal
    3. Ben Revere, of, Twins – speed and not much else in the OF for MIN
    4. Che-Hsuan Lin, of, Red Sox – ML debut in 2012, but sub .650 OPS in back 2 back AAA seasons
    5. John Tolisano, 2b, Blue Jays – .740 OPS as a 23 yr old in AA
    6. Pedro Baez, 3b, Dodgers – failed consecutive years at AA; spent part of 2012 in A+
    7. Oscar Tejeda, ss, Red Sox – released by BOS, picked up by PIT – sub .700 OPS in AA
    8. Neftali Soto, ss, Reds – 1B with 30 HR in AA last year; 14 in AAA this year; Votto blocks him
    9. Luis de la Cruz, c, Cardinals – 4th straight year with time in A+ in 2012
    10. Andrew Lambo, 1b/of, Dodgers – failed AAA with PIT last year; 5th straight AA season in 2012
    11. Devin Mesoraco, c, Reds – eased out of regular C rotation in Cincy by Navarro
    12. Kevin Aherns, 3b/ss, Blue Jays – 3rd straight year at A+; sub .700 OPS
    13. Kyle Lotzkar, rhp, Reds – 5.5 BB/9 and 5+ ERA as a 22 yr old at AA
    14. Scott Moviel, rhp, Mets – now playing in an independent league
    15. Jairo Heredia, rhp, Yankees – no stats for 2012. Out of baseball?
    16. D’Marcus Ingram, of, Cardinals – no stats for 2012. Out of baseball?
    17. Deryk Hooker, rhp, Cardinals – now a reliever; high WHIP, mediocre ERA in AA; 23 yr old
    18. Daniel Berlind, rhp, Twins – now with CHC; injuries – assumption – limited him to ~40 IP over last two seasons; 24 yr old
    19. Angel Morales, of, Twins – 3rd straight year at A+; sub .650 OPS; 22 yr old
    20. Tyler Kolodny, 3b, Orioles – back in A+ in 2012 after a mediocre 2011; less than 50 ABs – injured?; 24 yr old

    Only four of the 20 made it to the show. I don’t think Revere would be playing if MIN was any good – could be wrong. Mesoraco was unable to hold down a split duty job with Hanigan. Montero looks good. It looks unlikely that anyone else will even have a chance at a big league job, let alone an impact.

    Hopefully one or all four of these guys will have a good, solid ML career.

    • It’s definitely a long road from the GCL to the majors. There’s a lot of projection involved, and most rankings are based on tools and potential. For example, Jhang didn’t hit for much power this year, but is projected as a 15-20 HR hitting catcher. But a lot could happen between now and then. He might not stick behind the plate, which is the biggest thing, but he might not develop that power. That’s never a given. Tyler Glasnow can hit 96, but lacks control at times and doesn’t have much of a change. He really has no ceiling at this point. But his progression will largely depend on the consistency of his pitches, and the development of his changeup.

      I’ll be talking about this in a bit more detail tonight.

    • One thing to note is that the earlier signing deadline in the new collective bargaining agreement means more highly regarded draft picks appeared at the level this year than in previous seasons when top draftees would potentially skip the GCL by not signing in time to play in their draft season. As a result, it’s more likely that this year’s list could include more future MLB products than previously.

  • Hope these players make the next G.M. look good.