Baseball Prospectus released their top 10 prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates system today. The article, with scouting reports on each player, can be seen here. Below are the names of their top ten.
1. RHP Gerrit Cole
2. RHP Jameson Taillon
3. CF Gregory Polanco
4. RHP Luis Heredia
5. IF/LF Alen Hanson
6. OF Josh Bell
7. C Wyatt Mathisen
8. RHP Tyler Glasnow
9. RHP Nick Kingham
10. OF Barrett Barnes
Outside of Cole and Taillon, that’s a very young system. All of the other players in the top ten have played below high-A ball. Polanco, Hanson, Kingham, and Barnes should jump to high-A this year, and some of those guys could make the jump to Double-A by the end of the year.
The common theme with most of the guys in the lower levels is that they have a lot of potential. Some of the players are ranked more on raw tools, abilities and projections, rather than results and a clear picture of their future. Other players have put up the results, but will need to have those results in the upper levels to really cement themselves as top prospects.
In his summary of the system, Jason Parks wrote “No system in baseball can boast the one-two punch of Cole and Taillon, and with talented position prospects sitting on the next tier, the Pirates have one of the most impact-heavy systems in the game.”
The emergence of Polanco and Hanson added two more impact guys. No one from last year’s impact list really fell off the list. Josh Bell missed most of the year, but the tools and potential are still there. After Bell on that list, the Pirates have several guys who are just one season away from getting the recognition Hanson and Polanco received this year. That group expands beyond the ten names above, as there are breakout candidates like Dilson Herrera, Jin-De Jhang, and Clay Holmes who aren’t featured on the above list, but could easily crack the top 10 next year with a strong season.