Keith Law Ranks Three Pirates Among His Top 25 Prospects

For Insiders today, Keith Law posted his updated top 25 prospect rankings and three Pittsburgh Pirates made the list, with all three moving up spots since his last update. Tyler Glasnow moved into his top ten(9th), up three spots from the previous update. Two other players entered the top 25, after falling just outside it earlier in the year. The second one might surprise you.

Austin Meadows is now the 13th best prospect in the game according to Law, moving up from 32nd overall. Law was fairly high on him to begin with compared to others, so this is an even bigger jump than it appears. Meadows has looked good all season, posting an .804 OPS that ranks him ninth in the FSL, where he is one of the youngest players in the league.

The third member of the top 25 is Jameson Taillon. You figure if anyone was going to move up in the rankings, it wouldn’t be someone that hasn’t thrown a pitch during a regular season game since 2013. He could move up a few spots due to players graduating to the big leagues, but you figure some other prospects could move up as well based on performance. Taillon went from 36th in the last update, up to the 22nd spot.

Glasnow may have been higher if it wasn’t for any ankle injury that has caused him to miss two starts now and leave two others early. Prior to that, you could make a case for him being a top five prospect in the game, especially with some big names ahead of him(Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Blake Swihart) moving up to the Majors.

  • come on now about run diff., until the mets came to town they were plus 6 they have out scored teams in there 4 game win streak 25-6 .

    • Ha, that’s precious.

      What happened to a few years ago when every yinzer and their bother became expert mathematicians in order to explain how the Pirates were really a “flash in the pan” because of run differential? First time folks used the work “Pythagorean” since high school algebra.

      Even before the Mets came to town, their run differential was one of a team that “should” have been about .500, not four games under.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    May 26, 2015 12:50 pm

    I don’t see how he can defend having Taillon in his top 25, but not Bell.

    • FanGraphs, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus all had Taillon ranked over Bell pre-season, before Taillon was even back throwing baseballs again.

      Hardly a difficult ranking to understand.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        May 26, 2015 3:56 pm

        When he hasn’t pitched in almost 15 months and there is a degree of uncertainty as to whether he will return to previous form, post TJS, I think it is somewhat puzzling. Not every pitcher comes back as good as new after TJS – go ask Strasburg for one….

        • Again, seems like your issue is more with having Taillon ranked above Bell in the first place than with these updated rankings.

          Free to think how you wish, but I’m inclined to go with he majority here.

        • Taillon doesn’t need to pitch in a real game to tell what kind of form he has. I’ve seen plenty of bullpens, live BPs, and one inning of a live game, and so far he’s looked better than he ever has, mechanically speaking. He’s throwing with no effort, and getting the ball down in the zone. That was always a big thing that held him back and made him too hittable in the past. And there are no injury concerns right now.

          He’s healthy, and he has eliminated one of the biggest problems he’s had in his minor league career. There is very little uncertainty going on with Taillon right now.

          • other than health…..

            • Why is health an uncertainty?

              • Because he isn’t out of the woods yet and really won’t be until he can pitch 5-6 innings every 5 days. How many pitchers get shut down recovering from surgery because of tendonitis of some sort or some other compensatory issue from lack of durability/endurance for awhile

                • Are you saying this is tied to his Tommy John? Or is this just a reference to pitchers in general? Because Taillon is to the point now where he is pretty much out of the woods for a Tommy John related setback.

                  • “tommy john related” is open for interpretation. I’m speaking about setbacks due to a pitcher trying to get stretched out whom hasn’t been stretched out in 2 years.

              • Probably not long term, but still 2015 is still a risk of a total loss as he starts stretching his arm out and trying to pitch deep into games

    • It seems he went on the positive reports since he started pitching again. He was always high on Cole’s ceiling when his results were just decent. Maybe he feels Taillon’s ceiling is higher than Bell’s. That’s how I feel. That being said Bell could’ve been #26. Who knows. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s slamming Bell just because Taillon missed a year. I did find it interesting that he considered Bundy a #2 or #3 now.

      • Law had Bell ranked 60th coming into the season.

        Nothing that Bell has done in six weeks warrants a 35+ jump in the rankings.

    • Little power, awkward ABs from the right side, also awkward defensively to some degree though he is improving.

    • Because Bell has been moved to a position of lower value, and hasn’t hit for any power. Meanwhile Taillon probably stayed pretty much exactly where he was out once you take out players whom played and failed or played and moved out to the major leagues. I doubt that Taillon actually passed anyone whom was in front of them unless they fell off the wagon so to speak.

  • When I saw the headline, I assumed Josh Bell was in there. I wonder where Law has him. If Bell finally starts hitting with some power, the Bucs could have 4 top 25 prospects which is pretty unreal considering the parent club is already quite good. Anyone else notice the Bucs have a +28 run differential? That number alone tells me they have been pretty unlucky early on. I hope this 4 game win streak isn’t a tease cause they destroyed the Mets over the weekend and that was pretty exciting.

    • Unlucky no- the whole team was clueless at the plate with the exception of Marte after the first two weeks of the season, it isn’t like we were exactly hitting line drives at everyone every game we were losing by one run earlier this season, we were striking out and hitting dribblers

      • I don’t disagree with that. They seem to lose a lot of heartbreakers the first few weeks though.

        • True….but not from being unlucky. From being unable to hit. We weren’t losing 6-5, we were losing 2-1. That is just an inability to hit. Hell, in those extra innings games, we could have played 20 innings and i had little faith we’d ever score another run

          • Yeah, that was weird. I’m glad they seem to have shaken that. It seems like everyone but Polanco is hitting right now. Even Chris Stewart has been hitting.

  • I was a little surprised Taillon moved up so much but he mentioned the positive reports since he’s been pitching. Would’ve liked to know what he had to say about Bell since the camp seems to be split on whether his lack of power is an issue and there’s been a lot of comments about his swing from the right side. Law does mention the stats a lot but he also is very observant of the players mechanical flaws or lack thereof.

    • John Dreker
      May 26, 2015 2:49 pm

      If you told me a prospect moved up 14 spots, I would not have guessed Taillon, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if he dropped. The reports have been good on him, but they are all in very limited, controlled environments. He threw a simulated two inning game on Saturday, which is a lesser version of an Extended ST game, so you really don’t have much to go on. The better tests will happen this week and then every five days after that until he is ready for real game action.

      • Well, I guess there were a lot of graduates. That plus he’s pitching again without setback even if it’s a small sample size. I was surprised but pleased. Law can come off a bit snarky at times but I think he’s pretty sharp.