Glasnow and Bell Among Top Prospects in the Eastern League

Baseball America released their list of the top 20 prospects from the Eastern League and two players from the Altoona Curve made the list, although it might be surprising where one of them ended up. The EL was deep this year, so while Altoona had some strong prospects, it’s no surprise that they only had two players make the list.

Tyler Glasnow ranked fourth overall after dominating at the level. In 12 starts, he had a 2.43 ERA, with 82 strikeouts in 63 innings. He had an 0.95 WHIP and a .182 BAA. Glasnow was promoted to Indianapolis at the end of July and his time there exposed his biggest flaws. In his short time in AAA, he had his shortest career outing, gave up a career-high in hits in another game and allowed three homers for the first time in another outing. He also walked 27 batters in 52.2 innings, which includes his two playoff starts.

BA repeats what we have heard about Glasnow for years. Plus fastball, plus-plus curve at times and sometimes spotty command, while he also has trouble holding runners. He will have two months to work on refining his game before the Pirates even consider calling him up in 2016. Glasnow will need to throw his change-up more often than he was during his time in AAA. He will need that third pitch to have success in the majors as a starter.

Josh Bell made the list, though just barely. He was rated 20th overall, which seems really low, even in a very strong group. Bell hit .307/.376/.427 in 96 games with Altoona before being promoted to Indianapolis. In AAA, he hit .347/.441/.504 in 35 regular season games, then hit .444 in five playoff games and drew a walk in all five contests. Bell finished the year with 40 total extra-base hits and had both 65 walks and 65 strikeouts, with a combined .838 OPS.

He too has things to work on before he is ready for Pittsburgh. Playing his first year at first base, he needs plenty of work at the position. He makes errors on routine plays and has troubles with throws. Bell is also a singles hitter from the right side, with all of his power coming as a lefty. His last homer as a right-handed batter was in June of 2014. Just like Glasnow, Bell won’t be considered an option in Pittsburgh until early June. Usually that is due to Super 2 status with top prospects, but these two both have things to work on before they should be considered Major League ready.

  • Josh Bell was also rated the #12 prospect in the International League.

    • They haven’t released their International League prospect list yet.

      • Wrong. Try reading my copy of BBA. It usually pays to know what you are talking about before putting your foot in your mouth.

  • Was surprised Bell was so low until I looked at the list. Several in the top 10 have already made impacts in the majors and a few others may be top 20 prospects overall. And surely playing the “easiest” position held him back a little.

    • Though I now notice that two other first basemen ranked ahead of him. But would they have factored in his AAA performance or only his AA performance? I think for some of us he took a big step forward in how quickly he adjusted to AAA.

      • Well, Mancini did hit much, much better than Bell and Bird is generally considered as good of a prospect or better. Probably a bit of prospect fatigue vs. breakout performance going on with the ranking of Mancini over Bell, but the Bird positioning seems pretty sound.

        • Bell was rated the # 12 prospect in the International League NMR. Mancini was a really good hitter who I saw a bunch of times. Bird I didn’t see but his performance in the EL & with the Yankees speaks for him.

      • BA rankings almost never match up to anything else they do because different people do different leagues, and then their final overall prospect ranking is based on everyone’s opinion. I think that’s a poor way to go about it because you end up with lots of rankings that make no sense. Anyone remember Nick Kingham being seven spots behind Casey Sadler on the International League list, then Sadler ending up 11 spots behind Kingham on the Pirates top 30?

        When we did our top ten for Altoona, it was a poll of four different people, then the top ten was averaged out and adjusted after discussions.

      • No, they don’t do that.