On Friday morning, Keith Law posted his rankings of all 30 farm systems. He had the Pittsburgh Pirates ranked right in the middle at 15th overall.
Law had four Pirates ranked in his top 100 prospects and he had Kevin Newman ranked just outside his top 100, so the Pirates seem a little low on his overall rankings. He said that he prefers higher upside players when looking at rankings, which should favor the Pirates for him.
As we have also mentioned here recently, they don’t have a lot of impact talent, but the overall depth of the system is as strong as it’s ever been since we started doing rankings here. So a farm system with a combo of top talent (according to his rankings) and depth feels like it should rank a little higher.
I actually agree with his overall ranking, I just didn’t expect him to have them 15th based on five players in his top 110 prospects and the fact that he liked their 2017 draft class and it’s potential impact. I figured that the Pirates were right around the middle prior to the two big trades and possibly moved up a few spots after the deals that added four prospects to their top 30, just not enough to be among the top ten farm systems.
As for the rank among National League teams and their Central Division foes, the Pirates rank ninth among NL teams and fourth in their division. I’ll note that these rankings were completed before the Milwaukee Brewers put a dent in their farm system to acquire Christian Yelich, so it’s possible they dropped below the Pirates. They gave up two top 100 prospects and two other prospects for Yelich.
Law had the Brewers ranked eighth before the deal, so if you go by impact talent, that may have knocked them down. Regardless, all that the Pirates would pick up is one spot, which is still middle of the NL, NL Central and all of baseball. The Cincinnati Reds ranked sixth, St Louis Cardinals are 12th and Chicago Cubs are 25th.
We usually see at least 2-3 more farm system rankings before prospect-ranking season is over, which will give us a chance to average all of them out and see where the Pirates fall.