Pirates Get Favorable Rankings in the Baseball Prospectus Top 101


Gerrit Cole was the third best prospect in the Baseball Prospectus rankings. Photo: Wilbur Miller
Gerrit Cole was the third best prospect in the Baseball Prospectus rankings. Photo: Wilbur Miller

Baseball Prospectus released their top 101 prospects today, and the Pittsburgh Pirates had five players on the list.

The highest ranked player was Gerrit Cole, who came in as the third best prospect and the top pitching prospect. This is the highest Cole has been ranked in any of the top 100 prospect lists. Jason Parks questioned why people don’t love Cole, noting that his on-paper stuff is the best in the minors.

Jameson Taillon came in next at number 11. This was also the best ranking that Taillon has seen in any of the top 100 prospect lists.

Gregory Polanco was ranked 44th overall, with BP picking him over fellow 2012 breakout prospect Alen Hanson.

Luis Heredia also came in ahead of Hanson, ranking 53rd. This is the second year in a row that BP has put Heredia around the top 50. Last year he was ranked 42nd.

Finally, Hanson came in at number 66, putting all five of the Pirates prospects in the top 66 players.

Overall, the BP rankings have been the most favorable to the Pirates this year.

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If I am Neal Huntingdon, I am on the phone with Cleveland and KC offering both of them their choice of Locke or McPherson for Dorssys Paulino or Adalberto Mondesi, so the guy we get back can run through the minors with Dilson Herrera as his DP partner. Guys like Glasnow, Clay Holmes, and Adrian Sampson make McPherson (who I like) relatively expendable. Probably I ask for a PTBNL caliber pitcher in the deal, but those guys are both that good (no disrespect to Alen Hanson, but you can never have too many SS prospects and those guys are two years behind him).


Did Cole also have limited use of his 2 Seam fastball? I have heard conflicting reports about his fastball movement ranging from non existent to explosive movement and don’t know if that is due to whether the Scout saw the 2 Seamer or not

Ian Rothermund

I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t use his 2-seamer a lot, especially during the first part of the season when they were really putting a focus on him keeping the ball down. I think that’s ultimately part of the issue with ranking some pitchers. So many of the organizations, especially the Pirates, work to focus their pitchers on specific areas of their game that it’s hard to really get a handle on what kind of pitcher he’ll be until he gets to AAA, or is about to be bumped up. Obviously, given Cole’s age and experience, they weren’t going to handle him with kid gloves like they did Taillon the first year, but I can easily see his 2-seamer being an early casualty in favor of fastball control, continuing to develop his changeup, and keeping the slider down in the zone. There are only so many pitches to work with during a game. Coming into this season, I think the focus the organization puts on him is to continue to implement the lessons from last year, while working to be MLB ready, thus, the 2-seamer will likely make a resurgence.


I think people don’t love Cole in some cases because in college he was maddeningly hit-able despite his overwhelming stuff. He’s working on a change up now though and that might help a lot as he moves through Triple A and hopefully into the majors.


Cole has had the change up for quite a while actually. His problem in college, and sometimes in the minors, is leaving his fastball up in the zone.
Cole has some of the best stuff in the minors and the fact that he keeps the high heat going late into games shows that he has true ace potential. but ask yourself this: if Cole were in another farm system, like the Cardinals, Braves or Yankees, would he be ranked higher because he is not a Pirate?


and he was drafted by the Yankees and didn’t sign, so there is that.

Ian Rothermund

Yeah, I realize there’s always going to be a bias in regards to the major league coverage, but when you’re talking about prospects, individual players, I wish you couldn’t say the same thing. I mean, Cole’s going to come into the league and have a top-5 fastball, and he won’t be #5 , that’s for sure. Idk, it’s hard to say a guy isn’t getting enough respect when he’s ranked consistently in the top-10 of prospects, but with his arsenal and lack of control problems, he should be higher than the 8’s and 9’s I’ve seen.

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