Three Pirates Prospects in Florida State League Top 20

Baseball America released their Florida State League top 20 prospects today, and three Pittsburgh Pirates prospects were on the list. Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Gift Ngoepe were all named to the list. The list can be seen here, and scouting reports can be seen here for subscribers.

Cole and Taillon were ranked second and third respectively. Baseball America noted Cole’s arsenal, but called his changeup average. The pitch gets mixed reviews and can sometimes be ranked a plus offering, giving Cole three plus pitches. They noted that hitters can hit his stuff due to seeing the ball easy out of his hand. However, he still drew Justin Verlander comparisons.

Baseball America noted that Taillon switched his curveball to more of a slurvier pitch, which comes out of the same slot as his fastball. They also noted that Taillon started to throw his two-seam fastball again this year, which he reincorporated to his arsenal in the final months of the season.

Gift Ngoepe was ranked 20th on the list. His ranking might be a surprise to Pirates fans who only think of him as a long shot due to being signed out of South Africa, which isn’t a place known for producing baseball talent. Gift has plus defense, and Baseball America noted that he was the best defensive shortstop in the FSL, which had a lot of good defensive shortstops. He improved his hitting this year, although he’s still more of a defensive wizard who needs improvement with the bat.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Scott Tidlund

Any reason Alex Dickerson didn’t make the list? Player of the year in the FSL???


For any 1B to make the list, they have to be a complete masher or have the potential to be one, due to the defensive limitations. The high skill positions (front of rotation pitchers, shortstops, center fielders, catchers with offensive ability) will always be favored over a moderate hitting 1B like Dickerson.
The FSL was down this year for hitters. Just because Dickerson was POY does not mean he’s a huge prospect nationally.

Ian Rothermund

I was wondering about that myself. I wonder what the reasoning is for that. Maybe because he’s a little older than some of the other players and doesn’t have that high ceiling of like a Cole or Taillon

Ian Rothermund

So what are the chances that everyone’s giving Taillon to appear in Pittsburgh next year?

Did he show enough in AA last year to warrant starting in AAA at te beginning of ’13?


Ngoepe strikes out a great deal which would be a big problem as he moves up the rung. if he cuts back on them somewhat, he could at least be a journeyman utility man in the bigs.
for a comparison, Ngoepe K’d over 130 times this season. Barmes never came close to that total in the minor leagues. use that how you wish.


Tim would know this more, since I haven’t seen him in person, but he seems to have a more patient approach. He’s walked greater than 10% of the time each of his three seasons of pro-ball. That coupled with decent basestealing ability, a little pop and plus defense could make a nice SS.


im not saying he cant. but if a player has high K numbers in A ball theres a very very good chance that will continue, or even worsen, as he climbs the ladder.
he’ll be in altoona next season. AA ball is a best test for young players, the raw ones especially.
by the way, Evan Chambers K’d a great deal and walked a great deal. he was also judged by many on his strikeout numbers, so why isnt Ngoepe???


but Ngoepe being on a prospects list means he IS being compared to others. doesnt matter how much experience he has thus far. if hes being paid to play ball, and he is, and he shows up on a prospects list, which he now has, he SHOULD be compared to everyone.
kudos to Ngoepe for getting noticed and all the hard work he has obviously put in.

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