Fangraphs had an interesting list posted on Friday in which they rank they players who recently lost their prospect status. Almost the entire list of 46 players are ones who exceeded rookie limits last year, with two exceptions. One of those exceptions is relevant to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Musgrove as one of the key pieces in the Gerrit Cole deal. That was after he put up a 4.77 ERA and 4.38 FIP in 109.1 innings for the Houston Astros in 2017. He made 15 starts and 23 relief appearances, posting a 1.33 WHIP and he struck out 98 batters.

Musgrove lost his prospect status late in 2016, going slightly over the innings limit, though he was still good on service time. Fangraphs included him on this list anyway because they believe he isn’t a finished product yet and he was a strong enough prospect before he lost his eligibility. Musgrove ranks 14th, which is the highest spot among the four Pirates on today’s list. Slightly contradicting their own reason for including him on the list, Fangraphs gave Musgrove a 55 Present Value (PV) ranking (using a 20-80 scale) and a 55 Future Value (FV) ranking.

Next up for the Pirates is Tyler Glasnow in the 23rd spot. This ranking is all about him reaching his potential upside, as his Present Value is just a 40, while they see him as a 50 FV. The Pirates were able to keep Glasnow under a year of service time, so he still has six seasons of control left. The other three players on this list have five seasons.

Josh Bell ranks 31st and it’s interesting to note that they only have him at a 40 PV, with a chance to reach a 50 FV at some point. Bell obviously had a better rookie season than Glasnow (and it wasn’t close), but Fangraphs still believes that Glasnow is the better prospect.

Finally, Trevor Williams rounds out the list for the Pirates in 42nd place. They have his PV and FV at 50, so they consider him more of a finished product than Bell or Glasnow. Williams had a 4.07 ERA and a 4.03 FIP in 150.1 innings last year for the Pirates. He had a 1.31 WHIP and 117 strikeouts in his 25 starts and six relief appearances.

Fangraphs has rated the Pirates well, putting five of them on their top 100 prospects list, eight on their KATOH list which projects WAR over their first six seasons in the majors, and now four players among their top 46 recent graduates.

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  1. I’m really confused by the lack of love for Bell. .800 OPS, 26 HRs, and 90 RBIs in his rookie season. His defense improved to the low side of average by the end of the year. They rate that as a bench player (40)?

  2. With the inclusion of Musgrove on this list, and Moran on their top 100 list, fangraphs likes the Cole return.

      • i mean… just because a return was good doesnt mean that they shouldnt re-spend the Cole money and get payroll back into the 90s.

        nutting *is* cheap haha

        • Not sure that you can assume that the money wont be spent yet. The market still has not yet developed. Strangest thing I can remember. Look at Todd Frazier. Signed way below what the experts said the market was. Hoping for a deal like that for us for an OF or SP.

          • I guess they could still add to the outfield but I’d take the under that either of the Cargos want any part of this org. Maybe outside of Tillman any of the pitchers/their terms palatable? The pen is set w Smoker. They’re stuck middle IF. They’re stuck w Cervelli. I don’t see any spending for better or worse it’s down to hoping things work out.

        • I prefer no more signings. If they sign any mediocre players or slightly better with no more upside Hurdle will use them until their cleats fall off. Kids need this year to develope at all cost. This team isn’t winning again until they do.

  3. FV…most everyone got 50 or better. Isn’t that average? So, they think that all lf these players will at least be average? No busts? No stars?

    Help me out here, please.

    And, with both Bell and Glasnow having 50 FV why is that being interpreted as Glasnow having the higher upside?

    • Kind of puts a damper on expectations for Bell and Glasnow — average players is their likely outcome. That’s not going to get the Bucs anywhere. But it may be a true reflection of the Pirates’ minor league system — average w/o much top end talent and thick through the middle. It should’t be a surprise that this is what is being produced.

  4. But that Clint Frazier, he’s so awesome! He should be ranked #2 behind Judge (according to every Yankee fan on every message board when Cole was still available).

    A shame they couldn’t get DeJong to sign when they drafted him. Between him, Turner, Beuhler, and Sano…that’s some major talent that they recognized, but couldn’t seal the deal with. I’m sure every team has a list like that though. I’d love to see if someone put it together (rather than searching through an endless baseballreference list).

    • i was as big a Frazier fan as anybody for the year or two following being drafted.

      now, i feel like fans and a lot of media haven’t re-evaluated him enough. still too focused on the draft hype and not on what he might actually be – a slightly above average player. These fangraphs guys seem to have re-evaluated.

      i’d like to be wrong about him. he’s fun.

      also, i had NO idea that the pirates drafted DeJong. i think about / long for Turner and Buehler often haha.

      • 2014 38th Round. 37 rds after Connor Joe.

        All bogus (with a TON of assumptions), but still fun…
        Infield: Sano, DeJong, Tucker/Newman/Kramer, Bell
        Outfield: Marte, Turner, Polanco
        Rotation: Taillon, Buehler, Musgrove, Nova, Kuhl/Williams
        BP: Glasnow, Feliz, Crick, Rivero
        Bench: Moran, Frazier, Moroff, Luplow, Osuna

        • i mean you can live with that, and i’d be glad if he just suddenly sprouted into the pirates system.

          i’m just not convinced that he’s not closer to being Jordan Luplow than he his to being an a perennial all star.

        • I don’t know. I would not mind having Aaron Judge as a Pirate, or were you you referring to Clint Frazier.

  5. I wonder how Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax would have been ranked early in their careers. For that matter, the careers of both of them in the 50s were pretty nondescript. Clemente had his first really good year in his sixth season, and Koufax had his first really good year in his seventh season.

      • Exactly! Would the Pirates have had the foresight to sign Clemente to a long term contract before the 1960 season?

        As a side Item, I understand that Roy Face was the highest paid Pirate in 1960 at about 50K.

        • They didn’t need to sign him long-term. No such thing as free agency, so everyone went year-by-year. Occasionally teams went longer than one year, but it wasn’t something that happened often.

          • The context of what was being spoken of had to do with a what if baseball back then had present day free agency. Please reread leefoo’s remark that I was responding to. I know that contracts were generally for one year due to the reserve clause. I lived and died with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixties. I also followed the Curt Flood case, and wrote in favor of players having freedom to move at the University of Pittsburgh when I studied under Robert Marshall who was the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who as a side note is the father of theatre director Rob Marshall. I also studied the John Mackey case in the NFL.

            I have an old computer baseball game where old time baseball players become free agents. This is the kind of thing that lee and I was talking about. What if…..

              • True. Free agency did not come along until the Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith ruling.

                Catfish Hunter was a free agent before that, but that was due to the A’s fouling up.

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