Ramirez and Hayes Drew Consideration for Top 100 Prospect List

MLB Pipeline released their top 100 prospects list on Friday night, including five Pirates in their rankings. They had Tyler Glasnow(#10), Austin Meadows(#20), Josh Bell(#49), Jameson Taillon(#54) and Reese McGuire(#98) in their top 100 rankings.

Today on Twitter, they were answering questions about the top 100 list, so I inquired about which players may have either been considered, or just missed the list. I got answers from Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, as well as Mike Rosenbaum, who had a hand in making the list along with Callis and Mayo.

So it sounds like Harold Ramirez was at least considered a top 100 prospect by Jim Callis, and he just missed the overall list. Rosenbaum said that Elias Diaz got some consideration, while both Callis and Mayo threw out Ke’Bryan Hayes as a name that they considered. Ramirez made the top 101 for Baseball Prospectus, ranking 80th overall.

Diaz will likely graduate from the prospect rankings this year, unless he doesn’t come up before September. That’s possible if Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are healthy all season. Hayes and Ramirez won’t graduate from the prospect rankings this year though, which means each of them could end up in the top five for the Pirates when our next prospect guide comes out. While I don’t see him passing Austin Meadows, I could see Ramirez being ranked #2 in the Pirates’ system next year at this time.

On the other hand, one player who didn’t get consideration, or a strong report, was 2015 first round pick Kevin Newman. Callis considers him a regular second baseman, not a shortstop. He also thinks he won’t be a star.

  • No love for our #5 prospect, Mr Hanson?

    Maybe he shouldn’t be ranked that high?

    • Shhhh.

    • I didn’t ask about him, but just from their general talk, Alex Blandino was their 5th ranked second baseman and Callis said that he almost made the list, on the fringe of the top 100. Hanson was ranked 6th by them for 2B, so that would put him somewhere in the top 150 I’m sure.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    February 1, 2016 5:31 pm

    Wow, looks like Jim Callis and I have the same opinion on Kevin Newman….

    • Shoulda seen what he said about Connor Joe. Woulda rrrrreally made your day! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • But he REALLY liked Joe Connor. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Stinks.

      • I hated that pick as well…

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        February 1, 2016 10:56 pm

        I didn’t like the Connor Joe pick for a variety of reasons, but it had nothing to do with him – he seems like a great kid (young man) and I hope he is successful – I do not root against him or any other player who wears the Pirates uniform.
        My beef is with NH and the Pirates front office who made this very strange pick – after trading Bryan Morris to get this pick. First, he didn’t seem to have a position – and the Pirates did not seem to know what position he would play. When he was drafted, NH said he was an outfielder.In college, he was mostly a catcher and first baseman I believe. They tried to make him a third baseman, and now he seems to be back in the outfield.
        When he was drafted, I could not understand why they wouldn’t have drafted AJ Reed or Gatewood. They both at least played positions that were of need in the system. Well, Gatewood has been a train wreck so far in the minors – although he is still just 20/21 years old. AJ Reed may be the best first base prospect in all of baseball – even better than Bell right now. Joe was a good college player, but he didn’t do enough to justify such a reach.
        With all that being said, I hope he has a great year in Bradenton and helps us all forget that we could have drafted Reed…

        • The Joe/Reed comparison is nowhere near as obvious as you make it out to be, but it’s also a very interesting one.

          Reed was a two-way player in college and a poor athlete, meaning if a team chose to put him in the field he’d have to absolutely mash in order to even become a big leaguer as a 1B/DH-only player. There’s a reason he dropped so low in the draft, and a reason he’s surprised so many thus far.

          The Pirates took the better athlete with the better hit tool in Connor Joe. A kid that could conceivably play 4-5 positions while providing the contact-oriented approach they’re obviously targeting. I think it’s funny that certain guys here conveniently leave out the little part where Joe missed a year and a half of baseball with a significant back injury upon being drafted, as if that’s not something that has impacted his development overall.

          Not absolving the Pirates here, the Astros at this point absolutely deserve recognition as the better scouting organization for reasons that go beyond but most certainly include AJ Reed. But the Pirates absolutely may very well still have the player they wanted and the player they can use.

        • I am with you on AJReed. But they seem to being going with flexible athletes with highly projectile hit tools. Jury has to be out on Connor Joe until he is healthy.

      • You guys are too easy…

    • I’m higher on Hayes than Newman.

  • Interesting discussion yesterday on the GM show on XM MLB radio. Jim Duquette and Jeff Joyce (no Jim Bowden) were talking about the Francisco Cervelli 3/$39MM request. Both, but especially Duquette, laughed at the idea that Cervelli would get that much money. Suggested Russel Martin to the Pirates type money (2/$17MM) or maybe John Buck (3/$18MM). His opinion was that age and injury history, even factoring in the freak nature of the injuries, will keep Cervelli from getting close to that money. Also stated that he doubted that Cervelli could repeat his 2015

    • Been a little buried at work lately so this is the first I’ve heard of the 3 for 39 but if they sign anyone for that type of deal it’ll go to a mid-rotation starter. Whether you agree with it or not this team has budgetary constraints. You have to believe they’d go Diaz/Stewart and use the money elsewhere. But he might get that on the open market. Just not from the Pirates.

    • I suppose if one doubts Cervelli repeating enough that he has a poor 2016, then it might follow that he gets so little. But anything 2-3 WAR like and good luck getting Cervelli for 6-8 million per year.

      A relatively healthy year with non major regression results and he’s hitting a weak market coming off two very productive years.

    • Cervelli suffers from being the kind of player who has skills smart teams value, but also 2015 numbers smart teams know aren’t sustainable. Nobody will be betting on him being a .350+ BABIP hitter through his early 30s, and without picking it up somewhere else he turns into a roughly league-average hitter once that inevitably regresses.

      He may have a tough time getting that kind of guarantee when projected as a 2-2.5 WAR player given age/injury history and position, although he and Weiters will really be the only two FA’s available. Supply may push up contract value more than intrinsic value.

      • The question then becomes, given his status as an elite framer, how the internal value compares to his computed WAR, because if a team buys the current models for run values of framing, that 2-2.5 WAR can jump by another win or so, at which point, even with regression and limited playing time, he may prove worth that contract.

        Factoring in also how few capable defensive catchers are even league-average hitters could boost his value even more.

        • Interesting discussion over on Fangraphs a week or so ago on framing. Couple of points.
          `1. Umps are getting pretty smart and know who the good framers are and have adjusted.
          2. The variation in framing ability has shrunk – lower standard deviation than 3-4 years ago.
          3. Framing ability is not a constant – Lucroy for example went from a great framer to average last year.

          Both trends would make paying a premium for good framers less rewarding.

          And of course when we go to electronic balls and strikes the value of framing goes to zero

          • I read that article too and thought, damn can we just have one advantage we can hold on to?

          • I think you’re absolutely starting to see the framing tide turn. Very likely always has been overstated by certain outlets with an agenda.

            It never made logical sense to be calling this “skill” literally the most valuable single act in the game of baseball as was being done when folks were saying there could be a 5+ win advantage for the best framers, and the baseball industry has pretty clearly never bought in fully to those values.

            Framing is absolutely a skill and absolutely one you’d want your catchers to posses, but it’s pretty obvious that *nobody* really understands how to quantify it’s value.

        • Framing jumped the shark for me when the Tampa Rays publicly touted their Molina as saving 50 runs one year, before promptly cutting him.

          I promise you the Tampa Rays are not cutting league min players producing 50 runs of value.

          I think it’s dangerous to make value decisions based on data we really don’t understand.

    • I heard that also and laughed at both of them. They bite on anyone that is obvious and also laughed at the Pirates signing for Martin. Too much money for a catcher that really doesn’t hit well anymore.

  • Stat cast love for Ramirez http://dds.mlb.com/mlb_podcasts/statcast/012116_statcast.mp3- listen to the last few minutes

  • First, who has the highest ceilings between Palanco, Ramirez and Meadows? Second, is there any chance of trying to move Meadows to the infield since he is so athletic?

    • Polanco and Meadows both rank ahead of Ramirez. They are more athletic, with better speed/defense and more power potential. Ramirez did look like he was in great shape two weeks ago at mini-camp, so I’m interested to see how that helps him. He could catch up to the other two. Polanco would get the nod over Meadows with better speed and a much better arm. I can’t imagine Meadows playing infield, when he is an above average defender in center field.

      • I could see the Bucs 2018 or 2019 outfield being Polanco in LF, Marte in CF, and Meadows in RF. Of course, Meadows could probably handle LF in PNC so you could keep Polanco’s arm in RF. I hope this scenario I just cited includes Cutch as the DH.

    • Meadows also throws left-handed. So, first base is the only position in the infield he could play.

      • I used to play shortstop regularly up until and including HS and I’m a lefty. Also played some 2B and 3B over the years in little league.

        • The little bits of info are starting to trickle in on John Dreker’s life. Still no picture. But now we know he’s late 30’s or early 40’s, played infield and is a lefty…………also it seems like there’s no gray area with Newman. Either you like him or you don’t. And not that I have any business commenting on him but there’s more Callis type comments on Newman than there are Keith Law’s. But as Lee said on the last thread about Hanson – time will tell.

          • I’m a little more worried about his bat than his glove at this point. He isn’t going to get to the majors based on defense, but he really disappeared during big games in college and beat up on the mid-week teams. He had a .915 OPS in 55 total games last year, but .675 in 30 Pac-12 games, so he really got fat off bad teams and mid-week pitching.

            • The only two time batting champ in the history of the Cape.

              Bad pitching there, too? Or comparable to what level college comp?

              • I was impressed by that stat too until I saw the list of batting champs in the league. I almost hate sharing it because it’s a who’s who of who is that? It’s almost like the SI cover jinx, except for a few obvious names… http://www.capecodbaseball.org/pagebank/index.html?id=2983

                • I think people make the point because it’s a prospect league using wooden bats, not because of some rich history of success for batting champs.

                  Fun list to read through, though.

                  • Some interesting names: Stephen Piscotty, Conor Gillaspie, Chris Coghlan. Three in the last 10 years…not great numbers but at least two of the three have been good pros so far. Not great odds for sure though…

                • PiratesFan1975
                  February 1, 2016 8:08 pm

                  My high school teammate won the 98 crown, Bobby Kielty. He had an interesting path to MLB. Played at 3 colleges. Was never drafted when eligible. Ended up in the Cape Cod league as an injury replacement for a team his college coach was coaching and won the battle title and MVP. Hired Scott Boras and got a 6 figure bonus to sign with the Twins as an undrafted free agent. Played for the Twins, Blue Jays, A’s and Red Sox. Won a World Series with the Red Sox.

              • Cape League is an unusual atmosphere. Some top prospects and some college boy fill-ins. He might have had a terrific set-up with his host family, a phantom day job, and a smoking hot girlfriend for two summers that helped the average.

              • BuccosFanStuckinMD
                February 1, 2016 11:02 pm

                all singles….

            • Did you have a preference for someone else at 19 just out of curiosity?

              • Not really, he was in our group that could go for that pick, so he was fine. We talked about him a lot and I watched the videos, seemed like a scrappy player, who could possibly hit at the top of the lineup. It just wasn’t an exciting pick. He’s a safer pick in that you know he will reach the majors barring major injuries. It’s just highly unlikely he develops into an all-star type player.

                I thought they might lean towards Nikorak because he was a local kid, with a lot of upside, but as a cold weather pitcher with very little game experience, he was a huge project. Even though he has more upside, there is also a good chance he doesn’t make the majors.

                I would have been okay with Hayes as the first pick, so when they got him 13 spots later, I thought that was a real nice pickup

                • John, I had several preferences:

                  Walker Buehler, Mike Nikorak, and Nick Plummer.

                  Buehler might have had to have TJ surgery, but he has an electric arm and I would definitely have liked his ceiling better. I think Nikorak would have been an interesting pick, although would have taken some serious work/time. And Nick Plummer is a HS bat with some good upside that I think has a chance to be MUCH much better than Newman.

                  I think the Kramer pick was even worse! If you pick Newman there is no reason to pick Kramer…Josh Sborz, Mike Matuella, Josh Staumont, and Bryce Denton all would have been better picks than Kramer.

                  • The Kramer pick was definitely surprising after they got Newman. They definitely had a type of player in mind and doubled up on it. The crazy thing with Kramer is that Ty Moore basically put up the same exact stats as Kramer, both at UCLA, though Moore struck out half as much. You would obviously take the middle infielder over the corner outfielder if they had the same stats at the same age, but they went ten rounds apart.

                    Will be interesting to see how they each do in the future compared to each other.

              • I had several preferences:
                Walker Buehler, Mike Nikorak, and Nick Plummer.

                Buehler might have had to have TJ surgery, but he has an electric arm and I would definitely have liked his ceiling better. I think Nikorak would have been an interesting pick, although would have taken some serious work/time. And Nick Plummer is a HS bat with some good upside that I think has a chance to be MUCH much better than Newman.

                I think the Kramer pick was even worse! If you pick Newman there is no reason to pick Kramer…Josh Sborz, Mike Matuella, Josh Staumont, and Bryce Denton all would have been better picks than Kramer.

            • BuccosFanStuckinMD
              February 1, 2016 11:01 pm

              why didn’t the Pirates see that…..I’m sure they did. but they picked him any way…Nikorak was sitting there, as was Cameron and Plummer – but the Pirates took the cheaper route…surprise!

              • Cameron wasn’t feasible with his demands. You sign him and the rest of the draft looks a lot different. Plummer signed for less than Newman, Nikorak got a little more, but they could have signed him for the same amount without going over their bonus pool.

                I don’t blame them for not taking Cameron, there were questions about him during the draft and with the bonus pools, you would be investing a lot of it(about 55%) in one player. If you’re going to do that, it has to be someone better than him

                • But even if they dont draft Cameron there were other “better” prospects than Newman.

                  • I didn’t dispute that. He just said they went cheap, then mentioned two guys who signed for basically the same amount, and someone who would have ruined their bonus pool. Some people had Newman ranked higher than #19, so it’s not like he was a stretch. The Pirates went after players with the hit tool. That was their focus and they stuck to it.

          • And who are you trusting as your sources for these type of comments?

            Keith Law had Newman 2nd. Baseball Prospectus had him 5th. FanGraphs 20th.

        • Haha, yes, I remember this not exactly being a rule in little league (I even recall a catcher on my high school baseball team who threw left-handed), but it certainly would be a rarity in MLB if the Pirates turn Meadows into a starting SS.

          • With the outfield set for a while, I just hope we don’t trade Meadows.

          • I caught once, hated it. Mostly because I was using an infielders glove and the pitcher wasn’t reaching home plate. Tough to find a lefty SS in Pirates history, but it’s been done. Denny Driscoll was the first in 1883.

      • Michael Sanders
        February 1, 2016 7:14 pm

        It is time for Mark Squires 2.0.

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