MLB.com has released their updated list of the top 30 prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system. No surprise that Tyler Glasnow heads the list, as he is a consensus pick for the top spot. He is followed in the top ten by Austin Meadows, Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon, Alen Hanson, Reese McGuire, Harold Ramirez, Kevin Newman, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Cole Tucker.

Among new draft picks, after Newman and Hayes, they have Jacob Taylor #20, Casey Hughston #22 and Brandon Waddell at #27, with no sign of second round pick Kevin Kramer.

Some interesting placements of note include Stephen Tarpley all the way down at #25, although their write-up of him makes him sound like they should have rated him much higher. We have him #15 for many of the reasons they describe in their write-up. He’s a lefty that can get it up to 97 and throws four pitches for strikes, plus he is having a strong season.

They still have Luis Heredia in their top 30, coming in at #28. Can’t argue with their write-up just like Tarpley, they just want to seem to hold on to him longer. That’s likely due to his age, though he has a lot of pro experience for someone just short of his 21st birthday and the results are going down instead of up, or even maintaining would be nice at this point.

They also seem to be down on Elias Diaz and Adrian Sampson. Diaz ranked #8 on our list due to his terrific defense and the fact he’s holding his own at the plate this year. Sampson looked great early, but has hit some bumps in the road recently. He is fourth in the International League in strikeouts, third in innings and he’s showing excellent command, plus he is 23 years old.

Their scouting report on Diaz sounds a tick low from what we have seen, but just like Tarpley and Heredia, they are fairly on with Sampson, so it’s just a matter of opinion on where a player of that caliber should be in the top 30.

One last note and that is Nick Kingham has been knocked out of the top 10, falling to 11th place. He’s obviously out for most of next year, but his upside likely hasn’t changed and most people had him in the #6-8 range, so that is where we left him.

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85 COMMENTS

  1. The three good guys in the pen (hughes,watson,melancon,yes tim I said melancon) are being used way to much in order to compensate for the four bad relievers, if this outing does not motivate nh to part with at least one of his precious prospects nothing will. Fix the pen neil and get us a first baseman NOW!

  2. Can we put to rest all this talk about us only needing middle relief depth please? Tony Watson has been used a ton this year and has shown some cracks…sure every now and then you’ll have a bad game…if we want a championship bullpen, thougb, we would have another go-to piece besides our closer, Melancon. Yes, we need a middle reliever…we also need another late inning arm.

    • Watson on pace for around 70-80 innings. Thats not a ton, its his usual numbers from the last 2 years. Its reactionary to say we need another set up man. Tony Watson in no way is cracking, he had one big bad night.

      Tony Watson is not a problem. Set up is fine. Bring in a 7th inning option, but dont let recent stuff impact how we view all stars. This team doesnt have an issue in the 8th or 9th.

      • Luke, my eyes tell me Watson is not hitting his spots against right handed bats. We are in an automatic Hughes, Watson, Melancon order that ignores matchups. Pretty obvious we need another reliever, maybe two. Can Holtzkom get back to last year form? He would have been the man last night. Clint either doesn’t want to or doesn’t have the arms to do the righty/lefty matchups.

        • Not hitting his spots last night, yeah. We need a reliever, but the idea that we need a back end arm seems super “well crap, Watson had a bad game and thus might be wearing down”.”

          Add a capable 7th inning arm and its 4 solid arms in the pen. Hurdle values guys that can go an entire inning and not just for a matchup, which isnt a terrible thing.

  3. I’m sure this will get buried here…and is way off-topic…(ahem, maybe a message board is in order, cough, cough)…but, why Clint, why???

    Morton doesn’t have his best stuff tonight, he’s thrown 90+ pitches through five innings…and he’s got a lead. Pull the guy…please…for once.

    • for who…..caminero? There is honestly noone better to put out there in the 6th inning, hence the need for another bp arm

      • I am rusty on scoring and I find it hard to follow how those were all earned runs charged to Morton. Bucs play in the field was terrible.

      • Morton’s not pitching well, and they’ve got a lead…I don’t care who they run out there…but he obviously appeared on shaky ground. And, I’m probably in the minority, but, I’ll take the fresher arm and the lower FIP of Arqy over a guy who’s thrown almost 100 pitches.

        • Watson just looked like he was throwing batting practice to the right handed batters That was painful but not the first time. Sometimes he looks like his grooving it to righties. Where can I find his stats broken down? We need another righty power arm for late inning matchup against right handed bats.

          • Watson will be fine, but if he wasnt…or if he were fatigued and/or hurt? We’ve got no other options…we NEED another late inning arm for this pen. PLEASE NH!

        • Morton isn’t really a very good pitcher…wildly inconsistent and undependable…I wish they took the 4/5th starter spot more seriously. We won’t get a starter, but I really hope we get a couple relievers.

          • I do like Charlie…I think he and Locke have the same disease though…first and last inning pitched syndrome.

            It seems…and I should probably research it before commenting…they’re fine through innings 2-5 or 3-6. The get tagged early and, once they get up around 90+ pitches, get lit up then, too.

        • Eh, well Blaine that is why you aren’t running the team. That logic is completely logic-less. He immediately struck out 2 hitters then got ahead of the next hitter 0-2 before hanging a curveball- it could happen to anyone. Charlie was no shakier in the 6th than in the first, so following your train of thought, you shouldn’t have stayed with him in the first inning

      • The Pirates need MULTIPLE bullpen pieces, either internally from a guy like Holdzkom or externally…but we need a couple more pieces.

    • Love the message board idea…it’d be nice to be able to ask questions or start conversation topics without hijacking an article off topic.

      • I believe this site attempted to launch a general “forum” about a year or so ago, but it didn’t last long. I wasn’t posting at the time but would actively participate and post if a message board idea was brought back. A live “game thread” would be especially enjoyable.

        • It’s really hard to do that and combine it with everything on the site. Plus, making a message board on WordPress is clunky.

          My hope with the Prospect Watch is that this will provide a spot for prospect talk throughout the day. And then I hope to have something similar for MLB talk.

          I’ve never pushed this in the past because the site doesn’t see a ton of comments. But that activity has picked up lately, and the quality of discussions here have been great, so it’s something I’ve been considering.

          • Tim
            The site is total quality…..in part because you don’t have jerks hijacking the comments. I hope it has turned the corner for you. One comment…..the black “scroll for more” bar” on the lower right doesn’t work where it lists “popular and latest.” Is it me or does everybody else have that issue?

  4. Not a real trade but I am curious if prospects readers would feel happy about either a Glasnow for Hamels trade or a Josh Bell for Jose Abreu trade – straight up one for one, Pirates paying full contracts

      • Just to be clear, I would do both. (And would also trade for Trout…) But I was curious if we have become so enamored with prospects that we overvalue them.

        • Point taken, but everyone would do those trades.

          A better question would be: Bell, Glasnow, strong B prospect for Hamels…because that’s what it’s going to take.

          For Trout…back up the truck…Bell, Glasnow, Meadows, Hanson.

          Simply, you have offer realistic trade scenarios.

  5. The Pirates are a BAD defensive team…especially on the road. What the heck is up with this team on the road?! 2 more errors and McCutchen looking lost in CF again costing us another run…terrible, terrible road play

    • yep. And a second run Pirate should have scored on the overthrow….they don’t look sharp. Jaff Decker can’t be 5’10”. He looks like he should be a munchkin in Wizard of Oz remake.

    • I think they should buy a bunch of ice cream and give ishikawa a scooper and make him scoop for the entire team. Neither of those “errors” was a throw that an all-star high school first baseman wouldn’t have caught. I would have caught both quite honestly

    • Unfortunately Polanco is learning more about outfield play from Cutch than he is from Marte. The time is quickly coming where Cutch needs to be removed from Center Field and replaced with Marte. Cutch to left (or even right) honestly needs to happen soon

      • Cutch, I agree, needs moved out of CF. He’s got LF arm basically and his speed will play in LF in PNC…but at some point pride needs to take a backseat to what is best for this team…Marte should be the CF.

  6. Let me just state the obvious…Miguel Sano would look incredible at 1B where he should be for the Pirates. Damn!

  7. When you have your first baseman batting ninth you have a problem at first base. Not relevent to this article but hey here it is. Besides the obvious need for a middle reliever the pirates have got to do something about the empty hole at first, whether that’s lind,napoli, parmalee or stuffing kevin young back into a uni I don’t care which, just do something for pete’s sake. (By the way who’s pete?)

    • Nothing will be done by NH. He will say in his political speak that the market was to volatile and prices to high for prospects or like last year want MLB ready talent. He will then go dumpster diving with florimon morel etc… If it is not at 1-1 deal he is lost.

    • I like Alvarez vs RHP. We could use a good platoon partner for him, but having his power in the 7th spot speaks to the depth of the lineup. I thnk we are more in need of another starting pitcher do deepen the rotation and a bullpen piece . An upgrade to the rotation would give us a better chance of catching the Cardinals than a 1st basemen

      • This ranking and write-up convinces me we have OF and pitching talent prospects that could land us a right handed bat and at least a late inning arm without harming the future. Can we catch the Cardinals? I think you are right Chris that it would take another very strong starter. To get him we would have to be prepared to deal some of the top 10 guys. History says big moves often flop(Oakland!) Gurus say deal the prospects because there is no guarantee. Stay tuned.

        • Dirty secret that everyone loves to ignore is that while prospects arent guaranteed, neither are current ML players. Unless you get a TOR arm, they guy you get could have an odd bad month and not be an upgrade. TOR arms cost multiple prospects.

          We could use an arm, but i see it as far from a need. I think recent performance dictates peoples opinion more than it should. Suddenly fans are pretty worried AJ is fading quick and Morton is useless.

  8. I wonder what Jose Osuna has to do to become noticed? His stats match up to Bell, he is a few months younger then Bell, yet he is left out of all the top rankings. All he has done is hit at every level. It has to be the curse of starting your pro career at 16 and not getting a $5M signing bonus.

    • He has been noticed as a hitter, but the Pirates have him loping around LF and that is not doing him any good at all. When promoted to AA, I thought the next sensible move was to move Bell to AAA (where we have not had a legit 1B all year), and Osuna to 1B in AA so they could both get needed reps.

      Overlooking Moroff is pitiful.

  9. No Max Moroff or Gage Hinz… Interesting. I don’t think Holdzkum or Lambo should be considered prospects at this point.

    • Moroff is a huge oversight. Especially considering the guys that have played in the same lineup with him…he has outhit some good hitters.

      • Max Moroff should have been shot up the charts to Top 15. He’s young for the level and he has been leading the Eastern League in hits.

      • I think they are factoring his 16th round status in and ignoring his 300K bonus. Max is a top 10 in the system to me, replacing Hayes for now. What a difference a year makes. Our top 10 prospects include players at every position.

  10. When you look at the sub-rankings…the individual tools rankings, some of the actual rankings make much less sense. Like how all of Cole Tucker’s tools rankings look better than Kevin Newman’s yet Newman is ranked higher.

  11. Hanson is listed at 3rd. Jones and Garcia are #12 and #13. Lambo #24……………but anyways I do enjoy the write ups. Always interesting to see what someone thinks from a national perspective.

  12. Surprised they would release these with the trade deadline only 3 days away. There could be some possible movement of prospects and then this list essentially is “outdated”

    • NMR said on another post it was the equivalent of Taillon and Sampson which was shocking. Even if you downgrade Manaea to a Kingham that’s damn high to pay for a rental, as flexible as Zobrist is. But I don’t think the Pirates need him as much if you believe Polanco can continue to hit and Mercer and Harrison come back healthy.

        • Yeah. Get Napoli on the cheap to hit lefties (IF we keep Pedro) and get a guy for the pen. I watched Jake McGee last night for the Rays. What sort of ridiculous offer would we need to put together to get him. He’s like Watson, possibly a little better.

    • Crazy high…the Clippard trade made sense and we could’ve beaten it quite easily…but the Zobrist trade was a TON for 2 months of Ben Zobrist. Probably the equivalent of a healthy Kingham and Steven Brault.

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