Baseball America released their top ten prospect list for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday morning. Austin Meadows has taken over the top spot on the list, followed by Mitch Keller, Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell and Kevin Newman in the top five spots. They are followed in order by Ke’Bryan Hayes, Steven Brault, Cole Tucker, Will Craig and Elias Diaz. The link above has scouting reports on each player. While most of that list is for subscribers, BA also posted a free list that includes such things as the best tools in the system and their 2020 lineup.
Bell remained prospect-eligible by sitting out the last day of the season. Most sources use 130 at-bats as a cutoff, so even though he played 45 games and had 152 plate appearances, he finished the season with 128 at-bats. Brault pitched the most innings among prospect-eligible players with 33.1 innings, falling short of the 50 IP max for the list.
Tyler Glasnow ranked #1 on last year’s postseason list for BA. Then they had Glasnow, Meadows, Bell, Newman and Keller among their top 100 prospects during the mid-season update, with all five listed among the top 52 on that list. The rest of the mid-season top ten included Cole Tucker, Harold Ramirez, Steven Brault, Reese McGuire and Ke’Bryan Hayes. That list didn’t include draft picks, even though it was posted mid-July.
That mid-season list shows that there hasn’t been much movement in their rankings. They included eight of the same players that made today’s list, with Ramirez and McGuire being replaced by Diaz and Craig, with the latter likely making the list if he was eligible mid-season. Diaz shouldn’t be a surprise on the list, despite missing a large portion of the 2016 season. BA named him the best defensive catcher in all of the minors after the 2015 season, and they believe that he will hit enough to earn a starting role once a spot opens up for him in Pittsburgh.