Tyler Glasnow Receives Votes as the Top Pitching Prospect

For the second year in a row, MLB Pipeline conducted a poll to find out who Major League General Managers and Scouting Directors considered to be the top prospects in the game. The questions this year asked about the top prospect going into 2017 and the top pitching prospect in the game.

Last year, Tyler Glasnow received two votes as the top pitching prospect, finishing third behind Lucas Giolito (then of the Washington Nationals) and Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays. Snell no longer qualifies after throwing 89 innings in the majors in 2016. There were a total of seven pitchers who split the 20 votes last year.

Glasnow gained more support this season, finishing second with three votes from the 19 front office members who answered. Giolito, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox this off-season, received just one vote. Alex Reyes of the St Louis Cardinals picked up the other 15 votes. It’s interesting to note that all three pitchers received Major League time this year, and Reyes fell just short of losing his rookie status. He threw 46 innings, four short of the 50 IP cutoff for prospects. The 22-year-old Giolito threw 21.1 innings for the Nationals and posted a 6.75 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.

One scouting director had this to say to MLB Pipeline about Glasnow:

“He has frontline starter stuff with swing-and-miss ability. He’s still continuing to get better and will be a dominant number one.”

That’s high praise for the 23-year-old Glasnow, who put up a 4.24 ERA in 23.1 innings with the Pirates, spread out over four starts and three relief appearances. He issued 13 walks, struck out 24 batters and posted a 1.50 WHIP. In the minors this season, he had a 1.93 ERA in 116.2 innings over 22 starts, with 68 walks, 144 strikeouts, and a 1.17 WHIP.

  • My take is that he is by far the best candidate for the 5th spot we have period. He should take a turn every 5 and improve as he gets more comfortable in the bigs .

  • His control reminds me so much of Kip wells great kid but over thinking I watched him pitch this year and he has excellent upside but when he gets out of sink look I out

  • I really hope they keep glasnow, as much as I would love to have Quintana, I think glasnow will be the best pitcher in baseball sometime in the next 5 years.
    He had a few issues during his first couple big league outings and everybody wants to get rid of him. I hope they let him pitch in triple A for the first 3 months and then bring him up in July or August.
    The Pirates haven’t made it far in the playoffs because we keep running into dominant pitchers, we finally have a guy that looks like he could be a guy that you can ride to a championship and all I hear is how we should trade him while his value is high.

  • This is so much fretting about nothing. Glasnow is one of the best prospects in baseball and he will probably be a great major-league pitcher. He had a sub โ€“ 2.0 ERA in the international league last year at what, 23? Not sure, but he’s just a kid. So he had some walks and trouble getting through the third trip around the order during his first cup of coffee in the bags. If I was to trade him for Quintana, I would not add more than a mediocre middle infield prospect to flesh out the deal.

  • O/T but, should we assume Rodgers and Garcia cleared waivers at this point?

  • Major talent with some major mental hurdles to overcome…Personally I think he is being over coached. Some guys respond to constant adjustments and some don’t…you could tell he was thinking way too hard when he showed up in a Bucs uniform but, when he let his stuff eat he did pretty well.

  • The mechanical inconsistency is still concerning with Glasnow, and I’m afraid his lankiness will make him a slower bloomer than the Pirates can afford him to be. He’s so long, and it’s so hard to get the timing right when there’s that much length to deal with. He might not truly suss out his mechanics until he’s 27 or 28, and at that point, he doesn’t do the Pirates much good.

    So the hope is the stuff is good enough to compensate for the walks while he’s here, but I don’t know he reaches his very high ceiling until he moves on. An inconsistent and incomplete Glasnow could still be a fringe #1/2, though, so let’s hope for that, even if he only wins Cy Youngs in other cities.

  • Unless he’s dealt for a proven SP, such as Quintana, the Pirates will need him to be a key contributor this season. Especially if they are to return to being a championship contender.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    January 4, 2017 1:42 pm

    I agree 100% with the scouts take on Glasnow…so many people have gotten down on him, when he had such a limited opportunity to pitch in Pittsburgh – and had some physical issues as well. In AAA, he was dominant – no one hit him hard on a consistent basis. He may always walk a few more guys than other pitchers, but I will take the 3-5 walks over a pitcher getting hit around. In my opinion, he will be the Pirates #1 starter at some point in 2017….

    • Just think how nasty he could be with a little more control and a decent changeup. It’s rare for pitchers to come up and dominate. Give him time to settle in and I agree with you he will be great.

      • piraterican21
        January 4, 2017 3:50 pm

        He should give Holdzcom a call and ask about that palm ball he throws or threw. Is he still pitching?

    • I like your optimism Buccosfan!!!!! Is it April yet?

    • Eric Marshall
      January 4, 2017 5:29 pm

      would be happy if he slotted in as a strong #3 behind Cole and Tallion in 17. #1 would be more aligned with 18 or 19.

  • Sometimes we question Glasnow’s make-up, especially compared to Taillon. One difference between the two is that Taillon grew up with lots of attention because he always had great stuff. He had time to get used to the scrutiny. Since Glasnow didn’t really emerge until a few years ago, he may still be adjusting to the attention and pressure of being a top prospect. I hope the Pirates will give him more time to develop.

  • I was one of many who were disappointed with his debut last year. His fastball was slower than expected, he seemed a little overwhelmed (compared to Taillon, Kuhl, and Brault), and the change up was non-existent.

    But I think that the 4.24 era (in only 23 innings) points to his stuff working and his future potential.

  • I wonder if Glasnow will be the one people will want to come watch pitch someday. I remember the walk-up ticket sales Oliver Perez would create. I wonder if Glasnow will be the same way.

    • Yes, the tens and tens of people flocking to Oliver Perez starts were a boon to Pirate attendance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I believe those tens were eventually attributed to Benson’s wife.

      • I love the internet, you can google everything. Courtesty of the post-gazette on 7/29/2004: He’s the closest thing to Randy Johnson we’ll see in a game,” said Jones, who hit a 3-1 fastball into the left-field bleachers. “He’s 22 years old. He’s legit. He’ll have the world by the tail here soon.”

        Perez already has created a stir. When he was pulled after his 121st pitch with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, he got a standing ovation from the 22,977 in attendance. A total of 7,331 bought their tickets just before the game, making it the largest walkup crowd of the season and the third largest in PNC Park history.

        • Ha! That’s fantastic.

        • my guess is chipper and a 17yo jung ho kang were probably enjoying a beer and a hooters girl together before that game……..after which chipper commented that kang was “the closest thing to Randy Johnson”

      • You say that, but there were about 4-5 times I drove six hours from Virginia just to watch him pitch. Then drove back that same night, just in time for 8 AM classes the next day.

        Ah, college.

  • Are you sure he should be traded? Look at his numbers last year in AAA. Is that the type of pitcher you want to ship out. Sure he has some additional things to work on but he is also capable of throwing a no hitter at any time. I would keep him and give him the chance he deserves to develop his game further. He can be better then what the Pirates currently have. If they let him pitch and endure the growing pains as the number 5 starter this year he then can learn what he needs to do to be successful at the major league level. He is better than Loche and they had him in that spot and higher up in the rotation, so they can live with what Glasnow produces in that spot.

  • What does that GM know. There are lots of wanna be GM posters here who think he stinks and will never get better since his change up isn’t lights out.

    • piraterican21
      January 4, 2017 12:26 pm

      I personally don’t put to much stock on his change up, most pitchers use that pitch about 4% of the time, his control and the fact that the fastball was hitable concerned me. But he is still developing and we must hope he grows into we all hope he is projected to be.

      • He does need a third pitch if he’s going to be a true #1, though. Two-pitch aces are few and far between, if they exist at all. He can be a good #2/3 as a two-pitch guy like AJ was, though AJ did also have a changeup he *could* throw if he needed to get guys off his other stuff. It doesn’t need to be prime Johan Santana good, but he needs to at least trust it as a change of pace.

        AJ is Glasnow’s best comp right now, and he would go out and throw 10 changeups in a game just as a middle finger to critics. Glasnow doesn’t have to be the bulldog AJ was, but some confidence in a third pitch (or absolute consistency with the two he has) is a must.

        • Fastball velocity is the King, fastball command is the Prince. The changeup is way down the list.

        • Eric Marshall
          January 4, 2017 4:20 pm

          what did Cole throw consistently when he came up?

          • Fastball (2-seam/4-seam, mostly the 4-seam, though if I remember correctly), curveball, and slider. I think he has a bad change in his back pocket which, if he only throws it once in a game, can work.

            But it doesn’t matter if it’s thrown consistently. What matters is he’s willing to throw it at all, and that when he does throw it, he does it with some confidence. Hitters aren’t going to remember he throws a changeup 2% of the time. They’re going to remember that time it completely fooled them.

            Like I said, it doesn’t need to be an out pitch. It just has to be competitive. And it doesn’t have to be a changeup, either, just something other than the fastball and curveball. Splitter, slider, cutter, whatever, just give them a third look.

            Because these are Major League hitters. They’ll hit a good fastball if they don’t have to worry about anything else. And Glasnow compounds this problem by mostly using his curve as a wipeout pitch. He could be an effective starter without the change if he could throw the curve consistently for strikes and whiffs in the same start, but he can’t do that yet, either.

      • Given his height advantage, he doesn’t need to throw 100 mph to make hitters feel like he is. For me spotting fastball, throwing slider for strikes, and learning to hold runners are his keys to succeed.

  • Trade him while value high

    • I agree, maybe I just got pulled into the negativity following Glasnow’s debut, but if he does reach his potential it feels like he’s going to need several years of polishing first.

    • Uh…in case you aren’t aware of it, ALL successful MLB orginizations are built on pitching. Just because the Nats got fleeced in the Eaton deal doesn’t mean Huntingdon should be stupid too. The only way he should trade Glasnow if he were to get a controllable already proven MLB starter like Quintana. The ONLY way,

      • Preach it Leo!

      • Well stated and I hope that is NH’s take on the situation also. He will pitch most of 2017 as a 23 year old. Still learning and still developing. After his exposure to MLB in 2016 – his limited test by fire – how he comes out of this off-season will tell us a lot.

    • piraterican21
      January 4, 2017 5:51 pm

      Was one of those votes from the white sox GM?