John Sickels posted his list of the top 175 prospects¬†earlier this week and gave one Pirates’ prospect the highest ranking he has ever received. Sickels has Tyler Glasnow as the second best prospect in baseball, trailing only Corey Seager of the Dodgers. Glasnow’s previous highest ranking was sixth overall from Keith Law. Three other Pirates made the top 100, starting with Austin Meadows(30), followed by Josh Bell(70) and Jameson Taillon(86). One other Pirate made the top 175 and it was an interesting choice considering what we already saw this month from Sickels.

Three weeks ago, Sickels posted his list of the top 20 prospects for the Pirates and had Harold Ramirez ranked fifth in the system, followed by Ke’Bryan Hayes. So it’s interesting to note that Ramirez didn’t make his top 175, but Hayes was ranked #144 on the list. If anything since the top 20 list went up, you would think Ramirez would have moved up(I don’t condone prospect movement in such a short time barring major injury) because he tore up Spring Training pitching during that time and there hasn’t been any news on Hayes. So I’d chalk it up as an oversight near the bottom of a long list. It may have also been a change in thought since his Pirates’ list was published.

Besides Ramirez, there are a lot of Pirates who received consideration for the back-end of the list according to Sickels. In alphabetical order, they are: Steven Brault, Yeudy Garcia, Alen Hanson, Nick Kingham, Kevin Kramer, Reese McGuire, Kevin Newman, Stephen Tarpley and Cole Tucker.


  1. Its a fairly large oversight to have a player ranked higher than another on a top prospect list then not ranked ahead of him in a larger list, nor mentioned as being given consideration……it wasn’t like hayes was 175, he was 144………so if he left off ramirez, how many of these mistakes did he make overall in the 175 list? One would think using reasoning that ramirez could have been anywhere from 130-143 It isn’t a mistake that can be made honestly- proper editing isn’t a luxury, it’s a requirement for any kind of journalism whatsoever- rant over.

    • He gets input all the time. Maybe someone he respects asked him why he had Ramirez ahead of Hayes and gave him a couple of good reasons why Hayes should be higher. Ans the difference between 144 and 200 or so on a couple of guys who have yet to see AA is pretty trivial. Prospect rankings are not single-file but rather in a pyramid.

      • so he then doesn’t come up as a guy whom is even in consideration…? After destroying higher level competition in spring training…? You are making excuses for someone you don’t even know. Don’t do that.

  2. John … A little off-topic but I’m reading the old school, hard copy version of Baseball America and am truly shocked to see the Pirates rated 11th in baseball! I don’t pretend to know other teams prospects at all, but I am fairly comfortable with a historical view on our system – thanks to this site. Does this seem to be a reasonable ranking from your perspective?

    My view is that BA is saying that an organization with 6 legit AAA starting pitching prospects, numerous other SPs sprinkled through the lower minors, two respected catchers above A-ball, an entire infield of prospects in AAA, an entire OF of prospects in AA, and left side infield support on it’s way (Newman, Tucker, and Hayes) … Is middle of the road?

    I really doubt our prospects will approach this level again for many years. It was the result of many years of failure resulting in high picks, spending that was uncapped, and high level pitching prospects unable to graduate due to TJ. If this isn’t a top 5 organization, it’s scary (and depressing) to think what is.

    • I think the Pirates would be a top 3-5 farm system in a normal year, but there are some loaded teams at the top. I did a quick look at the other systems in the top ten for most people and I thought the Pirates fit in well at #8. As I said in the comments yesterday for the farm system rankings, there seems to be a huge disparity between the good teams and the bad. The top teams are loaded with talent, while the bottom teams are really bad. The talent in the minors isn’t spread out well, making teams in the 6-10 range seem like they are rated lower than they should be.

        • LA, though, spent like a gazillion dollars on international prospects. That’s one area MLB has to fix for competitive balance. The big market teams have a big advantage when they can throw the type of money the Dodgers were recently.

        • One other thing with BA is they rate impact talent a lot higher than most when putting together the farm system rankings. John Manuel put out a long article recently detailing that fact. If your system has someone you know will be the next Mike Trout, then that one player alone would give your system a huge boost.

          The Angels right now are a good example of a system that has almost nothing and they are clearly the worst system. My personal opinion is that three of their players would make that Pirates top 20 and that’s it. Meaning a combined top 30 between the two systems could include as little as 5-6 Angels players and 24-25 Pirates. But if you threw Mike Trout into their system right now, they wouldn’t be the worst system in baseball according to BA because he is such an impact talent that he would move them up 5-6 spots(rough estimate).

          They were the lowest on the Pirates and it might be because they don’t see the impact talent, while others see the incredible depth they have and realize that those players can turn into legit MLB players, while teams without depth don’t have players like that to improve their chances.

      • Ranking of Prospects from one organization to another is irrelevant to me. What is important is how good of a job the Pirates do in grooming their talent to contribute at the ML level. This season and next will tell us all we need to know about Pirates farm system.

        • Agree. It is irrelevant. What is relevant is Clint Hurdle and his assistant coaches and the Pirate managers and coaches at AAA, AA, A, & GCL. They maintain the development chemistry that will carry forward in 2016 and thereafter. NH is involved in the process too. Time will tell how we survive in a small market.

  3. Disgrace that Hanson and Ramirez don’t make the list!! But that is cool…better when they make the majors and do well….shows that the experts do miss!!

Comments are closed.