Three Pittsburgh Pirates Among Top 101 Prospects for Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus posted their list of the top 101 prospects on Monday morning and they included three Pittsburgh Pirates. Below you will find the results from prior lists to see an average ranking for these players.

BP has Mitch Keller ranked as the 16th best prospect in baseball. They followed that up with Austin Meadows in the 34th spot and Shane Baz sneaks onto the back of the list at 96th overall. Last year’s BP list had five Pirates, with Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell both losing their eligibility since that list was posted. Kevin Newman was 65th last year and has been replaced by Baz this year. Meadows dropped down from sixth place, while Keller moved up 11 spots.

Including the top 100 lists from Keith Law, Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, the Pirates are averaging three players per list. Law was the only one who had four Pirates and also the only one to include Ke’Bryan Hayes, though MLB Pipeline had him just missing their top 100. Hayes ranked 61st for Law.

Here are the previous rankings for the other three players. I’ll note that BA is the only one who didn’t have Baz on their list. I gave an average ranking for the three lists that he is on, followed by assigning him 101st place for BA and then averaging out four lists.

Mitch Keller

Law: 18

BA: 12

Pipeline: 16

BP: 16

Average ranking: 15.5

Austin Meadows

Law: 70

BA: 44

Pipeline: 45

BP: 34

Average ranking: 48.25

Shane Baz

Law: 65


Pipeline: 67

BP: 96

Average ranking (for three lists): 76

Average ranking using 101st place for BA: 82.25

  • fangraphs just came out with their list. To be honest, this one passes the sniff test the best for me.

    Keller 23
    Meadows 47
    Moran 53
    Hayes 56
    Tucker 74
    Baz somewhere between 100 and 140

    I have a hard time putting Moran in a top 100 though. The lack of plus defense just kills so much ceiling/value.

    Hayes and Tucker are probably too high, but i think they both belong in a top 100, and i do think hayes belongs above Tucker.

    • WillyMoGarcia33
      February 5, 2018 2:47 pm

      I could see a handful of mid-season lists mimicking this. With Moran obviously not on it. Considering graduations off the list, so long as Keller, Tucker, Hayes, and Baz maintain their development and progress, I can see all 4 being on lists. Meadows will more than likely be on the list, barring big club injuries and a hot start getting him a call up, or falling off the list due to another early season struggle coupled with injuries. Kramer may sneak on the list with the recognition he’s gotten as of late if he hits the ground running in AAA. Newman may sneak on a list or 2 if his hitting returns.

    • RE: Tucker – “Tucker does a little bit of everything and projects to stay at shortstop
      while providing modest offensive output. His arm strength has returned
      to something more closely resembling its pre-injury (labrum) form,
      bolstering confidence in his ability to stay at short. Offensively,
      Tucker is patient and has a contact-first approach, but there’s enough
      thunder in his hands and wrists to do some extra-base damage and a
      chance he grows into more as he ages. He’s a near-ready everyday

      Honestly, I think there’s just a large disconnect between what a prospect needs to do to get prospect hype accolades, and what he needs to do to enhance his likelihood of being an impact ML player. Tucker’s ceiling as a top of the order, switch hitting SS is massive. He started 2017 very poorly, but ended up turning in a quality season in the power department.

      Fangraphs is fully bought in on Moran’s 2017 adjustments. I find that to be encouraging.

  • Based on the ranking from multiple sources we appear to have a mid level farm system with a ton of depth but few premium pieces. But i would add that a lot of our solid but not great prospects are at the upper levels (Newman, Kingham, Kramer, Holmes, Moroff, Luplow). So we should be producing a steady flow of useful pieces to the parent club over the next couple years, which should give the MLB team a lot of financial flexibility to extend nucleus players (Taillon, Bell) and potentially sign some true mid-level free agents – I.e not the standard dumpster diving turnaround projects but also not the Bryce Harpers either.

    • Your first sentence is about what I figured before all of these rankings started and it’s exactly where they are right now. I don’t know many other farm systems that well, so it was just an educated guess/assumption on my part.

  • It appears as though we are graduating players *from* the list but not *to* the list. Does that mean the mid-level of our system is weak?

    • Good point, and I would say we are more bottom heavy right now with strong prospects. Polanco 26, Bell 25, Taillon 26, Kuhl 25, Williams 25, are all good examples of guys who have recently graduated from the Pirates developmental program and are doing better than average in MLB. This year we need a push from Meadows 22, and Glasnow 24 could be a huge difference-maker for the Pirates. 2019 could be the year for Keller 21.

      IMHO, It does not take a team full of top prospects to play competitively. It does take a few, and a guy like ‘Cutch will be sorely missed. Who will step up to take on the leadership role of the Pirates will be interesting to see. It may not be one person – it could very well be 4 or 5 moving in the same direction.

      • You mentioned a bunch of guys who are do better than average. I think of that list only Tallion has performed better than average in the bigs. The others are below average at their respective positions. Hope that changes soon because we need players that are more than just average or just above average

    • West Virginia should be a really interesting team to watch this Summer.

  • This fits in with us having an average farm system. I do think Meadows is going to have a comeback year so maybe system will look better by midseason