The Pittsburgh Pirates were recently ranked as the third best farm system by Baseball America. They didn’t rank that high in Keith Law’s updated rankings over at The Athletic today, but he does have them making a large jump in the rankings. Law has the Pirates ranked as the sixth best farm system, moving up ten spots from their previous ranking. He had the Pirates with six prospects among his list of the top 100 prospects last week.
While Law has the Pirates trailing the same two teams as BA, the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, he actually has the Los Angeles Dodgers first overall, with the Arizona Diamondbacks at #3 and the Toronto Blue Jays at #5. BA has a large difference, with the Dodgers ranked 8th, Diamondbacks 10th and Blue Jays all the way down in 19th place.
Law notes that the Pirates system has improved in a hurry, with significant trade acquisitions and an “an epic haul in the 2021 draft”. The rest of the National League Central ranks 13th (St Louis Cardinals) 16th (Chicago Cubs), 19th (Cincinnati Reds) and 26th (Milwaukee Brewers).
Law’s top 20 prospects for each NL Central team will be released tomorrow.
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.