Seven Pirates among Baseball Prospectus’s Top 101 Prospects

Jason Parks and Baseball Prospectus released their list of the top 101 prospects in baseball today, and the Pirates placed seven prospects on the list: Jameson Taillon (19), Gregory Polanco (24), Tyler Glasnow (42), Reese McGuire (59), Josh Bell (77), Nick Kingham (80), and Austin Meadows (89). Sky Kalkman's been doing some quick analysis of the list on his Twitter feed today, and he places the Pirates seventh in total value and ninth in value increase from last year (which I'll reiterate is impressive with Gerrit Cole dropping off of the list).  

There are a few interesting things to me here, especially compared to MLB.com's top 100 list (which came out last week and I haven't mentioned yet). One is seeing McGuire ranked so much higher than Meadows. Meadows had an absolutely torrid 48-game run through the GCL and NY Penn League after being drafted (.316/.424/.525 with 11 doubles, five triples, and seven homers) and it seems to me like he's higher on most lists. Meadows was #45 on MLB.com's list where McGuire wasn't ranked at all. I suspect that the difference all rests on how much stock you put in a high school catcher's defense. That's not to say that McGuire had a poor showing with his bat after being drafted by the Pirates (.323/.380/.380 in the GCL and NYPL is nothing to sneeze at for an 18-year old just out of high school), but I know the Pirates and a few other people think really highly of his defense. 

Taillon is a bit lower on BP's list; MLB.com had him at #14. My guess is that his ranking on these lists will depend entirely on how much the people doing the ranking believe in the Pirates' process; if you think that Taillon's stats aren't as good as they could because the Pirates are intentionally reining him in, you'll rank him higher. You can say same is true for Tyler Glasnow, who ranks a bit higher on MLB.com's list (27 vs. 42). 

Alen Hanson is #67 at MLB.com and not on BP's list at all. I suspect this has to do with the perception of his ability to play shortstop (or second). If you think he's a shortstop, then his slight step back at the plate in 2013 (he hit .309/.381/.528 in West Virginia in 2012 and .281/.339/.444 with Bradenton in 2013 before struggling with Altoona in the latter part of the season) doesn't concern you all that much. He did make his Double-A debut as a 20-year old infielder in 2013, which is impressive. I think we'll learn a lot about him as a prospect this year. 

The one list we're left waiting for is Baseball America's. We can assume that the Pirates will show pretty strongly there, too, because we already know that Baseball America has named them the top system in all of baseball. Prospect lists are coming out! Spring training is coming! Baseball is almost back! 

NOTE: A few of my numbers on the MLB.com list were off, because I somehow had the 2014 and 2013 lists switched. The post has been changed to reflect that.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.

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