Tyler Glasnow Ranked the Second Best SAL Prospect

Tyler Glasnow was ranked as the second best SAL prospect. (Photo Credit: Tom Bragg)
Tyler Glasnow was ranked as the second best SAL prospect. (Photo Credit: Tom Bragg)

Baseball America released their South Atlantic League top 20 prospects for the 2013 season, and of course Tyler Glasnow was on the list. The right-hander finished second in the rankings, which snapped the Pirates’ streak of number one overall prospects on these lists.

BA noted all of the usual stuff on Glasnow. He’s a 6′ 7″ pitcher who throws 92-97 and had 164 strikeouts and a .142 BAA in a year where he just turned 20. They graded his curveball a 60 on the 20-80 scale, and said that his changeup showed improvement and is potentially average. BA also quoted an NL scout who said Glasnow has gotten better each time out. Of course, the biggest thing for Glasnow is his lack of control, which comes from a lack of repeating his delivery.

Glasnow was the only Pirates prospect on the list. The only other guy who might have had a chance was Josh Bell. The top prospect in the league was Eddie Butler, who is a right-handed pitcher in the Rockies system. Butler looks to be the same as Glasnow, only more advanced, with better command, a better changeup, and he moved up to Double-A by the end of the year. The biggest thing with Glasnow’s ratings is separating the potential and where he is now. He’s got to potential to be one of the top prospects in the Pirates system, and possibly the game. But he also has some things to work on before he gets to that point.

I’ve noted several times that I feel Glasnow is ahead of where Jameson Taillon was at this level. Taillon also had fastball command issues. Those didn’t lead to a ton of walks, but they did lead to him getting hit harder than he should have. He also didn’t have much of a changeup and was more of a thrower than the pitcher he is now. Taillon improved in all of those areas over the next two seasons. Glasnow could very well show the same improvements, but when doing rankings you can only assume so much when comparing a pitcher who hasn’t made those improvements to a pitcher who has made the improvements. That’s why it’s not a surprise to see Glasnow behind Butler on this list, and it’s why Taillon will be rated ahead of Glasnow by every outlet this off-season.

Here are the Pirates prospects in the SAL top 20 over the last five years:

2012: Gregory Polanco (3), Alen Hanson (6)

2011: Jameson Taillon (4)

2010: None

2009: Rudy Owens (11), Tony Sanchez (12)

2008: None

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The most important thing for Glasnow is getting 140-150 IP next season. I think his stuff plays fine and he will develop that with work. He just needs consistent innings increases over the next two minor league seasons so he can be ready to pitch 7 monthis in 2016.


Glasnow is just in his infancy, but I can see why they would move him up with caution, he still looks to me like he has a lot to work on, if he gets that mechanics smoothed out and can repeat his delivery, he could be a good one. I think his changeup can be a very good pitch for him, I don’t buy that he will be average with that pitch, the changeup is a pitch that you develop, it is not a natural gift, it is entirely up to him how good that pitch gets, but I am sure the Pirates will push him to get that pitch down.


One important thing to remember is that Eddie Butler is 2 1/2 years older than Glasnow. He only pitched 9 games in the SAL and was fairly old (22) for that league when he was in it. By the time Glasnow reaches that age, he projects to be in AAA for most of the season.


I think it is very hard to compare pitchers at very young ages, they are still growing into their bodies.


Without seeing the entire list, it is difficult to have a definitive opinion, but does it seem odd that Bell could not be considered one of the best 20 prospects in the SAL? I know he has flaws, but he put up pretty good numbers for a 20 year old who basically missed the entire year last year.


I’ll be curious, but for now I’ll beg to differ with them here.

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