Baseball Prospectus has released their top ten list for prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates system. You need a subscription to read the entire article, but the list is free.

No surprise that Tyler Glasnow leads the list after the season he put up this year. He is followed by Jameson Taillon, who most had ranked ahead of Glasnow coming into the season(BP had Taillon ahead of Gregory Polanco last year), but the combination of a missed season by Taillon and outstanding pitching by Glasnow, has now put Taillon in second.

The rest of the list doesn’t have any surprise names, though the order might be different for some people. BP was high on Reese McGuire last year and down(slightly) on Austin Meadows at the same time, so their rankings on this particular list shouldn’t be a surprise. Mitch Keller is ranked sixth overall, the highest among 2014 draft picks.

1. Tyler Glasnow

2. Jameson Taillon

3. Josh Bell

4. Reese McGuire

5. Nick Kingham

6. Mitch Keller

7. Austin Meadows

8. Alen Hanson

9. Cole Tucker

10. Harold Ramirez

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89 COMMENTS

  1. IMO, it is premature to rank Glasnow #1 until he makes progress on the BB rate. He has the highest upside, but also more risk than Taillon & Kingham.

  2. Well c.feb… I’m with on McGuire. . I’m actually confused as to why everyone acts like diaz has so much more value…

      • Just me.. I agree that McGuire has much more value then diaz.. I thought that was the general belief.. based on this thread though most believe diaz has more value and it’s not even debatable.. at least that’s what I got from all of the back n forth

        • McGuire definitely has more value, and I haven’t read one person say otherwise. 20 yo R1 pick guaranteed to stay behind the plate with a shot at hitting. Yeah, that’s valuable.

          Diaz, however, as of right now, is the better baseball player.

  3. I would have Meadows at #3 & McGuire a ways down the list in the top 10 until he proves he will be anything more than a Brad Ausmus-type catcher. That’s still pretty good but the Pirates have some great prospects in their top 15-20. Meadows even though he was hurt has done nothing but hit…and he improved his strikeout rate too.

  4. your 2015 Pirates/automobile analogy line-up…

    Subaru WRX ’13
    Jeep Wrangler ’08
    Cadillac CTS-V ’15
    Chrysler Town & Country ’96
    Ford Mustang ’14
    Toyota Tacoma ’03
    VW Jetta (TDI) ’12
    Honda Accord ’99
    Kia Soul ’11

    could. not. resist.

  5. Meadows that low is madness. It doesn’t actually matter to me where he sits on a list like this, but that’s just questionable evaluation on their part.

    • BP does seem to be a bit…stubborn is the only word I can think of, but that may be too harsh. Slow to change opinion is probably more appropriate.

      • John and Tim must be so grateful to have you’re brilliant insights..
        Glasnow burst on the scene .. Where Heredia was a known commodity since age 12… Just for one variable.. These things, especially w Pitchers, year to year, are very fluid .

    • They also graded out Luis Heredia’s fastball as a 70 in their 2013 list while only grading Glasnow’s as a 65 now. That’s way, way off.

  6. The best and most exciting period of the baseball calendar for Pirates fans, prospects rankings and lists followed by arguments about the errors and omissions.

      • I think that is a fairly legitimate question? Baseball American in their Eastern League rankings had him ahead of Gary Sanchez (pre-season top 50, by BA, but his stock has dropped), Kevin Plawecki (made mid-season updates in 60-40 range, and A. J. Cole (75-50 range pre-season and in mid-season updates.)

        These league rankings are based on future value also, so I see the questions.

        • We got hit with waves of propaganda on Diaz when Martin was finishing a huge season and looked unlikely to return in conjunction w Sanchez proving he has no value behind the plate. – I feel compelled to get over the top bc I am ridiculed for defending the legitimacy of one of baseballs to catching prospects , that I am sure grateful we have. I am also grateful for a defensive plus catcher , that came from nowhere , over a year ahead of our blue chipper.. Just promoting perspective here.. These guys are 2 different animals.. Both valuable in their own way.

          • Really not interested in this conversation but I’m a hypocrite, what you say is all well and good, but doesn’t address the issue of why Diaz isn’t included. He was ranked higher that at least two prospects who will be on the top 100 list this winter. I don’t think Cole Tucker, and Harold Ramirez, are making anyone’s top 100, and Hanson’s move the 2nd might push him off.

            So also secondary and tertiary arguments aside, Diaz’s exclusion seem odd, when more lists and reports come out maybe better understanding will emerge.

  7. IMO, Taillon does not deserve to be rated #2 – with his injury, missing a year, and not being overwhelmingly good in 2013 either. I would have him in the middle of the pack – in 4-6 range. I would also have Diaz and Garcia in top 10, replacing Tucker and Ramirez.

    • Garcia doesn’t belong anywhere near that list. Pitch recognition and swing and miss issues along with poor routes defensively aren’t all that promising. He does have power and a strong arm, but those do not make you a top prospect.

      • I disagree. I could make a list of weaknesses and deficiencies for every prospect, even those on this top 10. None are perfect and all are works in progress. Take McGuire for example…he was very weak with the bat this past season – very little extra base power and average was mediocre.

        • I didn’t say Garcia isn’t a prospect, but at this point he isn’t an organizational Top 10 from what I have seen. I know how I feel about McGuire and his offense at this time. That is why I think Elias Diaz is a better prospect at this time.

    • You could be right but about Taillon, but I think it says something about the players below him. no one pushed him out. How does BP view Bell’s move to first? What about his recent lack of home runs? I am interested to see how the Pirates farm system rates in 2015. Back to Taillon. I doubt BP considers TJ surgery a big deal, so missing last year wont hurt his stock.

      • I share your interest looking down the road. Next year’s draft is shaping up to be critical for replacing talent. With potentially three picks between 20-35 or so, I’d think about going “all-in” so to speak and trading for a Comp Round A pick as well.

      • Diaz is like when I buy a new car. It’s a 99 Honda… But it’s brand new to me. New to me. Diaz is my 1999 Honda Accord. He will be a .210 hitting defensive back up catcher… He is shiny to Pirate brass because Tony Sanchez was a lemon. 99 Honda . It Starts everyday and gets great gas mileage.

        • You must work for 93.7 fan, there never right about anything either, none of them. A 99 Honda? Lemons? I thought for a minute we were talking baseball, why not refrigerators?

          • Nonsensical analogies are easily my favorite internet argument.

            Yeah, you’re really gonna get your point across more clearly by comparing baseball players to vehicles.

            • I tried making it simple. Diaz is dime a dozen. Solid defensive back up.. Prolly has a long career in MLB of that in front of him… McGuire has a bit more risk , more to prove , but big reward in that he can bat left and can play both off and def efficiently….
              Yes I am the fool putting stock in the young talent that our front office gambled on , bet on to hit and catch.

              • Diaz could easily be a no hit, solid defense catcher…but his improvements at the plate have been exponential kind of in the way Polanco improved…but not as flashy or exciting…but impressive nonetheless. I also like that he is still young for a C at AAA. He played really solid ball in the fall league too. It is not common for catchers to go to AA and hit like he did so he becomes more intriguing than most catchers around the minors, especially after you factor in his defense and potential for more power.

          • Again , I am going to dumb it down. My 99 Honda is reliable and consistant and affordable… Lets call McGuire a Lincoln MKZ… Just took a test drive , but man that seems real nice.. all the bells and wistles.

            • I hope McGuire isn’t a Lincoln MKZ. Because, just like that car isn’t a Mercedes, or even a BMW or Cadillac, he might not be able to hit anything more than singles, and end up a defensive backup. You had better start using a lot better analogies

    • I disagree. Just because Diaz is the best option for us at a premium position doesn’t mean he has a higher ceiling or more potential or more value as a trade chip than a plus toolsy CF that we may not have as much need for.

      • Diaz is rated as the best catcher in the system and that system contains McGuire and Sanchez, plus the reviews for Diaz were through the roof this year, I would say that he should be on the list ahead of a guy that never plays and probably never will play for the Pirates.

        • He is not rated the best catcher prospect , he is simply at the top of the organizational depth chart, Simply means McGuire is not ready. Not to mention they were rushing Diaz and creating a paper tiger, something to talk excited about when Martin walked… That buzz will fizzle out w the addition of a professional backstop in Cerevelli.

          • Obviously, McGuire is rated ahead of him, but that is because when McGuire was drafted Diaz was just starting to mature and McGuire was drafted very high, the best catcher between the two of them at the moment is Diaz, paper tiger or not. McGuire could very well be the paper tiger between the two of them, he still has not hit well in the lower minors for such a high draft pick.

          • You must either be in PR, consumer marketing or politics with that kind of cynicism.

            Which is not the same as saying you’re not absolutely right 🙂

          • You are about as full of it as anyone currently posting here. You more than likely have never even seen Diaz play one inning.

            • I apologize for sharing the view of the experts. Diaz MAY develop into a top shelf defensive catcher. The kid can’t hit. So what , you guys think all of these Baseball quarterly’s just didn’t get the memo in time? Full disclosure I have seen Diaz in two Fall League Games this year. Hey Leo , you must be a professional scout. McGuire has the bottom potential and the potential upside to be an actual and rare two way catcher.At best , men, Diaz does not project 2-way.

              • Baseball America ranked Diaz as the second best catcher in the Eastern League, ahead of Top 100 prospect Gary Sanchez, and he just produced 29% more than league average with the bat as a 23 yo.

                You’re really just making stuff up at this point.

                • Oh You mean the best in the AA League which Altoona plays in.. That is not anything like predicting upside and productive MLB starters…. You guys are reaching… I read all these lists ,reports and analysis too .

                    • That list ranks preformace in a AA league… Todays list is guys who will likely be in our MLB lineup …You’re argument is devolving into that of someone out of facts… You haven’t made a point or even a statement that last 5 posts.

                    • By the way, saying that Diaz posted a 129 wRC+ in AA is the definition of a fact.

                      Let me kill some brain cells and try to put that in terms of vehicles you might be able to understand…

                    • A C-class Mercedes? One of those small versions with all the fantastic engineering yet little of the cachet of a bigger model?

                      I just bought one of those used. Rides like a dream.

                    • One of the best and most credible aspects of this site is the fact that it is so well archived. These guys hold themselves to an admirable level of integrity that way. We can always go back and see what predictions and claims they made.. Right or wrong

                    • So… Another tought one for ya.. ‘It’ll all come out in the wash’.
                      What we say here today will be available when our 2015 &16 Catchers are established.
                      Lost in all this is we have a MLB starting C in Francisco Cervelli … My bet is he will carry us into 2016 and the arrival of McGuire.. However , you will claim victory when Diaz is there 6 months earlier as Cervelli’s backup.

                    • “…carry us into 2016 and the arrival of McGuire…”

                      Wait, as in Reese McGuire will make his debut in 2016? As a 21 yo? A year and change after posting an 80 wRC+ in low-A?

                  • Try getting out to watch more than two games, you might pick up on a few things. Reading numbers sometimes makes people think they know more than they really do.

                    • I actually am not stat expert… I trust the track record of the guys who report, evaluate and predict these things. Leo , you sitting in row E with the gf or grandkids or whatever the case gives you no more or less insight than a dork reading stats. I gamble on the guys like John and Tim… They seem to be pretty ok at this.

              • Wow ! Two complete games ? That is really impressive. I don’t consider myself a professional scout, but I sure have seen a lot more top prospects than you. And I have surely talked to many more baseball evaluators than you.

                • Ever play the game, Leo? I am 5’6 150 . Played college baseball and basketball. Not bc i am talented , but bc I understood w what i gave up physically I needed to be textbook. I needed to understand and execute all aspects of the game. That attitude took me as far as physical limitations allowed. So I dont need to look very long to see if a guy is a sound ball player. I know what it looks like.

                  • Good for you pal, but I’m not your Mom, so I am not impressed. I played and coached the game at a pretty high amateur level at 5′ 9″ and 140 lbs. And, I know only YOU can understand ” all aspects of the game ” to be able to see Elias Diaz play in 2 games and say definitively ” the kid can’t hit ” ! I have seen Diaz play about 25 times that number, and I can’t definitively say he will or won’t hit in MLB, and I will bet any amount of money you aren’t able to either.

                    • As I have said before Leo, The weight of my opinion comes from the consensus of the front office , talent evaluaters , and analysts . I like Diaz alot. The little I have seen and the optimistic comparisons to Manny Sanguillen and/or Tony Pena… I simply put more value on the upside placed on McGuire. I know there is a chance Diaz is our starter somewhere between Cervelli and McGuire… That is if McGuire even sticks as a catcher… I know it would not be the 1st time a top catching prospect was playing 3rd base 2 years later. I will be glad to be wrong and say Leo told me so… If it means Diaz is a shut down D- catcher and hits 260 – 280..

                    • You have it all wrong. I am certainly hoping McGuire turns into a top prospect, and then an excellent starting catcher. But all of those supposed consensus of opinions do not help him hit more than mainly a handful of singles since he gas been in pro ball. I KNOW what I have seen from Diaz both offensively and defensively, and until McGuire surpasses those levels at AA and AAA, I will remain skeptical of his bat.

          • You are about as full of it as anyone currently posting here. You more than likely have never even seen Diaz play one inning.

        • McGuire is the best rated catcher in the system as the article says and I agree. McGuire’s defensive potential is freakish. The kid has been a catcher for 10 years already and he is 20. He has ridiculous pop times and lives to play catcher. I am hoping poor man’s pudge Rodriguez out of him but I will take a better hitting brad Ausmus…which makes him a lot like Jason Kendall except he is a lefty bat…which is a huge bonus.

    • Ramirez was on his way to a breakout season and might be top 5 if he didn’t get hurt…list are based as much on potential as much as anything so I can understand him being where he is.

  8. John: How does this top 10 list match up w the rest around MLB?
    Is Reese McGuire up the list more so because he catches than anything else?
    I think I remember Tony Sanchez making such lists shortly after he was chosen 4 overall… Is Cole Tucker for real or is he temporarily keeping a spot warm simply for the buzz generated by his name right now?

  9. John: How does this top 10 list match up w the rest around MLB?
    Is Reese McGuire up the list more so because he catches than anything else?
    I think I remember Tony Sanchez making such lists shortly after he was chosen 4 overall… Is Cole Tucker for real or is he temporarily keeping a spot warm simply for the buzz generated by his name right now?

    • BP likes catchers with good defense, so the good ones tend to get elevated a little more. My own person top ten list has the same ten players, but a different order. No other major lists have come out yet as far as I know. Tucker has mixed reports. Some think
      he won’t stick at shortstop, some think he won’t hit enough. No one is really high on him, but there are those that believe he will be Jordy Mercer with speed

      • John….Off of your first sentence, then Diaz should be higher on that list. But, for all we know, he is #11?

        • I think the thing with Diaz is that no one is really sure that he will be a starter someday and even the Pirates said they sent him to the AFL to get some work on defense. He is #11 on my list, so if he was #11 for them too, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Diaz did okay at the plate in the AFL, but he still doesn’t hit for power and doesn’t walk enough, so most people are waiting to see how he handles AAA. I don’t take much from the poor showing he had at Indy this year, too small of a sample size.

      • Ya think so? Glad to see you’re outta that funk.. He seems to be real mature and a focused work ethic… And I think NH is able to choose the ‘Winner’ out of two seemingly equal individuals .

  10. I hope if Kingham dominates , it will only be thru May.. If he is ready and needed June 1st is the magic day. It would be great if Taillon dominates post TJ surgery and we see him in a mid or even late summer role.

  11. I hope the Pirates have enough starting pitching so they can wait on Kingham and Taillon. Let them dominate AAA and get enough innings.

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