MLB Pipeline Releases Their Top 100 Prospects and Top 30 for Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB Pipeline released their list of the top 100 prospects in baseball, updated for the mid-season and it includes draft picks. The Pittsburgh Pirates have three players on the list. Five Pirates made the top 100 during the preseason, but both Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell lost their prospect status since then.

Austin Meadows holds on to the top spot for the Pirates, ranking 20th overall among all prospects. Mitch Keller is right behind him, rated as the 22nd best prospect in the game. Making his debut on the list is Shane Baz, who ranks 88th overall. Drafted 12th overall in June, he is one of 11 draft picks to debut on the updated list. Baz is tenth among all draft picks. Kevin Newman was 59th during the preseason, but he has dropped off of the mid-season list.

Pipeline also updated their top 30 for the Pirates. They have the same order as the three in the top 100, then they go with Ke’Bryan Hayes, Cole Tucker, Kevin Newman, Steven Brault, Will Craig, Nick Kingham and Kevin Kramer rounding out the top ten.

As for draft picks, Steven Jennings rated 11th, Calvin Mitchell is 14th and Conner Uselton is 15th overall.

The updates don’t stop there for MLB Pipeline, giving you a lot to check out, so I’m keeping this short. They also updated their top ten by position. Here is what the Pirates have going for them:

Mitch Keller ranks as the sixth best right-handed pitcher.

Kevin Kramer is the ninth best second baseman.

Austin Meadows is the sixth best outfielder.

Somewhat surprisingly, Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t make the top ten for third basemen despite being fourth on the Pirates top 30. Only six third basemen made the top 100, so it appears that Hayes was well off from making the top 100 if four third baseman who are outside the top 100 are rated higher than him.

They are going to release their top ten farm systems soon. I don’t expect Pirates to be on there because they talked about some of the loaded systems now around baseball, especially after some recent trades. The Pirates weren’t one of the teams mentioned in their brief preview of the farm systems.

  • Bill Harvey
    July 25, 2017 3:20 pm

    Seems like a pretty fair assessment of our system. Baz might be a stretch for the top 100, but good to see him make the list regardless.

    Luplow at #20 between Santana and Alemais is a joke. The guy has 21 HR in less than a season between Altoona and Indy. His OBP is .380 and he is slugging .570ish.

    • Baz isn’t too much of a stretch at the back end of top 100 (high eighties) if Hunter Greene is already #21 between Meadows and Keller. A lot of projection for both Baz and Greene but Baz has a full arsenal of pitches and is light years ahead of other high school kids as a starting pitching prospect whereas Greene has two dominant pitches and is tantalizing to dream about but seems to have more of a top flight reliever makeup than a top end starter, sort of in Taylor Hearn territory. Long story short as far as I’m concerned, Jennings, Cal Mitchell, Uselton and if kinks can be worked out, Bolton, Martin, Oliva, Madris, Busby and others are the icing on the Baz cake of this past draft.

      • Baz was a second round talent going into the season and climbed into the top half of round one in a very weak draft. I like him, but he is not in the same universe as Hunter Greene as far as their ceiling or floors go.

  • Interesting that MLB has Meadows, Keller, and Baz all grading out at 55. They don’t mention risk so I don’t know if that is embedded in the 55 or if risk is why Baz is 60 spots below Meadows and Keller.
    They also have everyone from Hayes through Hearn (at 12) grading out at 50.
    And everyone else from Hinsz (at 13) through Wood (at 30) is graded at a 45

    • John … I think there are probably two main ways to rank players:

      1. Group them by combined talent/likelihood — in other words likelihood of achieving a certain talent level. This would result in a group where a high risk 55, a medium risk 50, and a low risk 45 are all in the same tier. I believe that this is how you guys rank them in your book. The one drawback with this, is that it puts higher talent prospects in the same tier as lower level talent prospects.

      2. First, group them by talent level; then by likelihood. This could result in all 60s in one tier ranked within the tier by risk (low risk higher and high risk lower). The drawback here is that a player who is unlikely to reach his talent level is ranked above a player that is likely to reach a slightly lower level
      Does anyone use option 2 at the scouting level?

  • How to the Pirates compare to other teams vis-a-vis # of prospects in top 100? Average placement of their playersin the top100, level in the minors where their top 100 players fall on average (in other words, how far away are they from helping the big club)?

  • Elias Diaz is nowhere to be found in their top 30. Did they forget about him?

    Yeudy Garcia is #19. Have they not scouted him the past year?

    • Diaz graduated, as did Max Moroff. They go by MLB rules, where if a player spends 45 days in the majors before September, he is no longer on the list. We don’t use that criteria because it eliminates a player like Moroff who really hasn’t been given a shot at any point. We allow players up to 130 at-bats, 50 innings or 30 appearances for relievers. Once they pass those marks, they are off.

      I can’t explain Garcia. They even noted that he was moved to the bullpen, so they are still optimistic about the 2015 version returning