Baseball America released their updated top ten prospects list on Monday. There’s also a best tools/projected lineup section, which can be found here. BA’s last updated rankings came out in August, but there’s one drastic change from those rankings over a short amount of playing time.
The top two spots haven’t changed from the August update, with Oneil Cruz being followed by Henry Davis for those two spots. The first change comes in the third spot. Nick Gonzales moves up from the fourth spot after a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. Liover Peguero is fifth on both lists, which leads to a bit of a change in the top rated pitcher in the system category. Roansy Contreras moved from sixth in August to fourth today. Quinn Priester dropped from third in August to sixth now.
The top six in the system didn’t change other than the order. It’s the same six players. However, the seventh spot is where we saw the major change. Endy Rodriguez is now ranked as the seventh best prospect, moving up ten spots from August. In another twist, BA has him as the projected starter at first base in 2025 for the Pirates. Primarily known as a catcher, he played some first base during his first two seasons of pro ball before joining the Pirates. He then played 18 games at first base this year. First base seems like a possibility, especially with Henry Davis ahead of him both as a prospect and in the system, but Rodriguez will likely continue to catcher more often as he moves up the system.
The 8-10 prospects now are Michael Burrows, Jared Jones and Carmen Mlodzinski. There are no big changes there, with all of them within three spots of their August placement. Since the list only goes ten spots, the biggest drop that we know of is Tucupita Marcano, the key piece in the Adam Frazier deal, who was seventh in the August update. He could be 11th (or much lower), which we won’t know until their top 30 comes out with their prospect guide.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.