Top 20 Pirates Prospect From John Sickels

John Sickels from Minor League Ball posted his top 20 prospect list for the Pirates on Saturday. He had a couple interesting rankings that are different from anyone else, going low on both of the top two catchers in the system. The list goes to 20, but he also ranks players by letter grades and he has an addition four players graded the same as the 16-20 prospects on the list.

Sickels has Elias Diaz rated #15, followed by Reese McGuire one spot and one grade lower. For both of them, he has questions about the bat. That’s no different from most people, but both catchers are strong enough defensively that they should at least stick around in the majors for awhile as a glove-first backup. Since their floor is so high, plus McGuire is still very young, both of these rankings seem too harsh.

There are no big surprises in the top ten, although he has Yeudy Garcia in that tenth spot, which is higher than anyone else. Everyone has Garcia in their top 20 though, so it’s not a huge jump compared to others. If he wasn’t so low on both Diaz and McGuire, then Garcia would be a little lower and closer to where everyone else has him.

Sickels then went with Kevin Kramer for his 11th best prospect, which is off from a lot of people. In our own prospect guide, Kramer just barely made the top 30. MLB Pipeline has him 22nd, while Baseball America has him 28th. Sickels likes the bat and believes Kramer’s glove is under-rated.

No other surprises in the top 20, as the players included match up rather well with most lists. He has 17 of the players we have in our own top 20, with the three differences being our 18-20 picks, and the three players he included instead are all in our top 30.

When you check the link at the top, be sure to check out the comments section, where he adds some extra write-ups for a few players, including Carlos Munoz, Jordan Luplow and Barrett Barnes.

  • Neither catcher is going to be Piazza with the bat but I think both will hit enough to remain in the majors. I think they will surprise us all.

  • kinda agree about the catchers. I also think that not many have seen Tallion since the Pirates re-did his delivery ( he then had hernia surgery), but I think he may really be a half grade higher.
    Like others, I am not as sold on Kramer. Finally, I do not get all the Brault love. Yes, throwing left-handed can make you some decent money over a career ( see Zach Duke), but he just seems to lack enough power to make it. You can get by with an 92 mph FB. IF you have an 87 mph FB, you better have an outstanding change up in the low 70’s or something, or you will be a LOOGY

  • Love this site, but I also like getting the views from folks who view the organization from more of a distance.

    These rankings aren’t bad…I’d have Hanson ahead of Tucker and Newman…if only because he’s made it to AAA and is, therefore, much more likely to have an impact in the majors…and that’s what the A-C rankings are all about.

    Brault should be ahead of Tarpley…Kingham is probably a tad too high, I like Williams more and Kuhl much better than his placement, and one of the catchers should be sniffing the top 10.

    Out of the 20, he got the top 6 ‘right’. Overall, I’d’ve dropped Frazier from the list and added Osuna somewhere.

    Barnes didn’t merit a mention…unfortunately, that ship has sailed.

    • I tend to agree regarding Hanson higher than Tucker simply because of his age and level of play, but I am hoping hat they push Newman hard by possibly starting him at AA.

  • wow! Osuna is “others of note”! Damn, he almost made a list!

  • Sickels is pretty good. I don’t think where he has McGuire is too far off the mark.

    • Keith Law has stated that he doesn’t see much potential in McGuire’s bat.

      He is not a huge fan of Reese’s.

      Can I say for the 38th time, that I wanted us to take JP Crawford on draft day? 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • To me it’s crazy. Sickels has great point… If McGuire didn’t have pedigree but was exact same player picked in 5th round with same great defense woukd anyone have him as top 5 prospect ahead of someone like ramirez?

        I view diaz as a much much better prospect than McGuire and am well aware of Elias’s hitting problems early in his career.

        I just am skeptical we see McGuire take big leap forward with bat next couple years which make him chris stewartesque in my book. Better d, but a Stewart like bat seems most likely scenario.

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