Pittsburgh Pirates Top 15 Prospects (2012-13)

When I started researching the club, I underestimated just how good the Pirates system is right now. It has impressive high-ceiling talent at the top of the list and depth. I had five or six other players outside the Top 15 that I really wanted to write about, but ultimately they fell just short of the list.

 

#1 Gerrit Cole (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
21 26 26 132.0 113 7 9.27 3.07 2.86 2.97

Cole was the first overall selection during the 2011 draft and he reached triple-A in his first season in pro ball, securing himself as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. The right-hander’s greatest strength is his heater, which can tickle triple digits and sits in the 93-96 mph range. His second best pitch is a dominating slider. He also has a curveball and a changeup.


Cole is not quite ready to break into the big league rotation. He needs to develop a reliable third pitch, while also improving his command with mechanical tweaks. His control is currently ahead of the command. When asked what Cole’s next step in his development would be, a contact stated, “The next level for Gerrit will be continuing his maturation process as a professional pitcher, specifically how he uses his weapons to effectively and efficiently attack major-league caliber hitters.”

He should return to triple-A to open 2013 and could see the majors in the second half of the season, especially if Pittsburgh is in the playoff hunt and needs a spark. Cole, 22, has the ceiling of a No. 1 or 2 starter.

 

#2 Jameson Taillon (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
20 26 26 142.0 120 10 7.35 2.41 3.55 3.41

I’m constantly amazed at what little hype Taillon receives in general. The right-hander has mid-to-high-90s velocity and above-average control. He also has an above-average curveball and a developing changeup. At 6’6” 225 lbs, the Texas native has the potential to provide a ton of innings. I spoke to a contact who stated that Taillon is very dedicated and disciplined to his routines and the pitching process. “He takes pride in the art of pitching and understanding what he’s trying to do each time he grabs a baseball,” he said. “The next step in his process is the continued understanding of how to use his weapons to attack major-league caliber hitters.”

Once he starters to trust his overpowering stuff and improves his command, Taillon’s strikeout rate should skyrocket. He finished the 2012 season in double-A and should return to the level to begin 2013. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him secure a big league rotation spot at some point in 2014, joining Gerrit Cole as an awe-inspiring 1-2 combo at the top of the Pirates’ starting staff for years to come.

 

#3 Alen Hanson (SS)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 558 150 33 16 55 105 35 .307 .379 .526 .405

I chose Hanson as the Pirates’ potential breakout prospect for 2012 and he surprised even me with his outstanding performance during his first full-season assignment in low-A. The infielder hit for average and showed unexpected power while also stealing 35 bases. He was caught trying to nab bases 19 times which underscores his need for polish. Hanson took some walks but he also struck out a lot and needs to tone down his approach at times while also sharpening his pitch recognition.

In the field, Hanson struggled at shortstop — which is typical for a young player. His range, though, is modest despite his plus speed and his arm is average. He looks more like a future second baseman, although a contact I spoke with was encouraged by the improvements he’s made.

“His improvement and dedication to defense, from where he was in the beginning of the season to where he finished, was very encouraging and a testament to how hard he worked throughout the year,” the talent evaluator said. The Dominican Republic native will move up to high-A ball and could see double-A by the end of the year if he continues to improve. He has the ceiling of an all-star middle infielder

 

#4 Gregory Polanco (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 485 141 26 16 44 64 40 .323 .386 .519 .408

Like Alen Hanson, Polanco was a breakout star in the Pirates system in 2012. A talent evaluator I spoke with said it’s quite obvious why the Dominican Republic native made such a big leap in his development. “I think the biggest thing was physical maturation for Gregory. He’s always been a long and lanky kid, almost gangly,” he explained. “Now, looking at him, he’s turning into a very physical young man. His body control has improved. He knows himself better… He’s maturing.”

The 21-year-old outfielder has average or better power potential from the left side of the batter’s box. He has an overly-aggressive approach at the plate that could be toned down but he makes good contact and puts the ball in the play, often with good pop. Like many young hitters, Polanco tries to pull the ball too much and will have a better chance of producing a solid batting average as he moves up through the minors if he uses more of the field.

Along with his potential at the plate, Polanco has very good speed and should be capable of stealing more than 20 bases in a minor league season. In the field, he has the potential to be an above-average center-fielder with a strong arm. Polanco, like Hanson, will open 2013 in high-A ball and should spend much of the season at that level. He’s still a couple of years away from the majors but he could be a key part of the Pirates’ next wave of talent.

 

#5 Luis Heredia (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
17 14 14 66.1 53 2 5.43 2.71 2.71 3.34

Heredia is far from a finished product but his success to date is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that he’s just 18 years old with two pro seasons under his belt. He already stands 6’6” and tips the scale at more than 200 lbs. He throws in the low 90s with his fastball and can hit the mid-90s. He also has a curveball and a changeup,A contact I spoke with said Heredia has a chance for three plus pitches. “His changeup is the more advanced of the two[secondary pitches], which is by design,” the contact stated.

His frame suggests that he should be capable of providing 200+ innings in his prime. Heredia is very slow and deliberate to the plate at times and will have to work to avoid becoming too big. The Mexican native still has some improvements to make with both his control and his command, although again, he’s very young. He’s spent the past two seasons in short-season ball and should be ready for full-season opponents, although the organization could choose to hold him back in extended spring training for a little while to help limit his innings.

 

#6 Wyatt Mathisen (C/DH)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
18 167 41 8 1 16 19 10 .295 .388 .374 .369

The addition of 2012 second round draft pick Mathisen, a fringe first round talent, helps make up for the club’s inability to sign the eighth overall selection of the draft, Mark Appel, who returned to Stanford University for his senior year. The young catcher, on other hand, turned down an opportunity to play for the University of Texas and signed for slot.

After playing a few positions as a prep star (catcher, shortstop, pitcher), Mathisen has settled back behind the plate but is behind in his defensive development. He’s athletic with a very strong arm so he has the tools necessary to succeed behind the plate, as well as the drive to get better.

He’s more advanced behind the plate and has a chance to hit for a decent average and above-average power, once he learns to drive the ball with more consistency. The Texas native struck out just 19 times in 45 games. A contact I spoke with his been impressed with the prospect to date. “He can impact the baseball and can do it on a consistent basis… He has a feel for the barrel,” he said. Mathisen’s bat might be ready low-A ball, but his defense could probably use some time in extended spring training.

 

#7 Josh Bell (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 66 17 5 1 2 21 1 .274 .288 .403 .308

Bell entered pro ball armed with a ton of hype and a multi-million dollar signing bonus as an intriguing Texas prep outfielder with all-star potential. His debut did not go as hoped when he blew out his knee and appeared in just 15 games.The switch-hitter has above-average power from both sides of the plate but needs to improve his pitch recognition. In the field, he showed solid range pre-injury and a strong arm.

Bell is expected to be healthy when the season starts and he should return to low-A ball to begin the 2013 season but he could see high-A in the second half of the year. The lost development time could slow his ascent through the minors but it’s not expected to have a long-term effect. I’m told the injury has healed but the organization will be cautious with him and continually monitor his workload to ease him back into the daily grind.

A contact I spoke with said Bell’s make-up could cause him to press and make up for lost time. “His primary focus needs to be on his process and getting better every day,” he explained. “He is going to want to make up a season’s worth of at-bats in the first week of spring training… [He needs] to not worry about the 500 at-bats that he lost in the rear-view mirror and trying to catch-up, because that’s out of his control.”

 

#8 Kyle McPherson (P)


Age G GS IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP WAR
24 10 3 26.1 7.18 2.39 46.1 % 2.73 4.01 0.1

McPherson, isn’t flashy but he has a big, strong frame and could develop into a durable No. 3 or 4 starter at the big league level. The Alabama native has made the most of his opportunities as a former 14th round draft pick who has already spend six seasons in the minor leagues. He made his MLB debut in 2012 and split time between the Pirates’ bullpen and starting rotation.

McPherson, 25, has solid stuff with an 87-92 mph fastball and a plus changeup. His breaking ball needs work and consistency if he’s going to reach his potential. The right-hander has good control and has been durable for much of his career, although he suffered from a shoulder injury early in 2012. If he can’t wrestle his way into the big league rotation, McPherson could slide into the bullpen.

 

#9 Tyler Glasnow (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
18 12 11 38.1 23 3 10.33 3.99 1.88 3.41

The California native is all about projection, standing 6’7” 200 lbs. Glasnow, 19, came out of extended spring training on fire in 2012 and dominated rookie ball. He allowed just 19 hits and struck out 40 batters in 34.1 innings. Like most tall, young pitchers, he struggles with repeating his delivery and his command suffers.

Glasnow’s repertoire includes a fastball that ranges in the 87-91 mph range right now. His second-best offering is a curveball and he rounds out his four-pitch repertoire with a slider and changeup. A strong spring could push him up to low-A ball but I’d expect him to open the year in extended spring before heading to the New York Penn league in June.

 

#10 Barrett Barnes (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 153 36 6 5 17 21 10 .288 .401 .456 .406

Barnes was nabbed out of Texas Tech with the 45th selection of the 2012 draft and possesses above-average power potential. He also has the speed and instincts to steal 15-20 bases, making him a threat to become a 20-20 hitter with the ability to play center field. Barnes has solid range in the outfield but his fringe-average arm could eventually shift him to left field.

Barnes, 21, had a solid debut in short-season ball when he showed good power while also hitting .288 with 17 walks in 38 games. The Texas native will likely open 2013 in low-A but he has a shot at high-A if he has a strong spring performance. His game needs some overall polish but Barnes could burst onto the prospect landscape in the coming year.

 

#11 Clay Holmes (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
19 13 13 59.1 35 1 5.16 4.40 2.28 3.99

A young, strong-bodied pitcher, Holmes impressed the Pirates enough to earn a $1.2 million contract when he was selected in the ninth round of an Alabama high school. His fastball can hit 94-95 mph and he gets a good downward plane on the pitch thanks to his 6’5” 230 lbs frame. His slider shows potential and his changeup could be at least average.

Holmes will likely open 2013 in low-A ball where he’ll look to sharpen both his command and control. Improved command and better secondary stuff will help his strikeout rates jump up but he could be successful as a pitch-to-contact guy if that doesn’t happen. He’s a long way from reaching his potential but Holmes is one of the most promising young pitchers in the low minors.

 

#12 Dilson Herrera (2B/3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
18 256 65 12 8 19 47 12 .286 .341 .489 .388

If you’re looking for a player who could have a breakout season in 2013 similar to those of Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson from 2012, look no further than Herrera. The middle infielder generates surprising pop for his size, and that included 25 extra base hits in 60 short-season contests last season. The 19-year-old Colombian needs to tighten up his approach at the plate, including pitch recognition, if he’s going to hit for average as he moves up the ladder.

In the field, Herrera has a below average arm but has good actions and average-or-better range thanks to solid foot speed. He’s played third base, shortstop and second base in his young career but profiles best at the keystone. He should move up to full-season ball in 2013.

 

#13 Nick Kingham (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
20 27 27 127.0 115 15 8.29 2.55 4.39 3.96

Kingham is another big, strong pitcher in the Pirates’ system. He can dial his fastball up to the 93-95 mph range and also has a promising changeup. His breaking ball is currently average but flashes above-average potential. The right-hander battles his command and consistency and has noticeable hot and cold stretches. At 6’5”, he generates a good downward plane on his pitches.

After solid full-season debut at the low-A ball level in 2012, Kingham will move up to high-A ball and should spend the entire season at that level thanks to some pitching depth a head of him. He has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter if he continues to develop along his career path.

 

#14 Justin Wilson (P)


Age G GS IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP WAR
24 8 0 4.2 13.50 5.79 20.0 % 1.93 2.02 0.1

Wilson is a hard-throwing southpaw who came up through the minors as a starter. His fastball sits in the 88-93 mph range out of the starting rotation but he can reach the upper 90s as a reliever. He has a four-pitch repertoire that also includes a curveball, slider, and changeup but none of the offerings are currently more than average even though he’s entering his fifth pro season. His control is just average at this point and he needs better command.

After two seasons in triple-A, Wilson has little left to prove in the minors and has a solid shot at breaking camp with the big league club as a reliever. If he can polish one of his secondary offerings into a plus pitch, the Fresno State alum could become a high-leverage reliever. Otherwise, he could develop into a solid No. 4 or 5 starter or long reliever.

 

#15 Jin-De Jhang (C)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 145 39 5 1 14 16 1 .305 .382 .398 .373

A 19-year-old catcher out of Taiwan, Jhang hit more than .300 during his pro debut at the rookie ball level. He possesses a ton of value as a left-handed hitting backstop with good bat control, a solid eye and above-average defensive potential. He allowed too many passed balls during his debut and didn’t throw out as many base runners as one might expect but improved foot work could help both categories.

Jhang has the potential to be an above-average big league catcher if he continues to hit. He has good balance at the plate but has yet to learn to drive the ball. He’ll be in a battle with Wyatt Mathisen for the mantle of catcher-of-the-future and Jhang will likely open 2013 in extended spring training with an eye on the New York Penn League in June.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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Spit Ball
Member
Spit Ball
3 years 6 months ago

Yup, that’s quite the list. Similiar to Seattle’s in pitching depth
.

Will
Guest
Will
3 years 6 months ago

A suggestion: could you mention the minor league level in the player’s stat line? You’ve done a good job at mentioning it in each player’s paragraph, but it would make it easier to contextualize how good the player’s stats were for the season.

eckmuhl
Member
eckmuhl
3 years 6 months ago

The problem there is that for some of these guys, those are season totals accrued across 2-3 levels of play.

Spit Ball
Member
Spit Ball
3 years 6 months ago

A-/A/AAA Could that not fit in a category. The paragraph could still contain the level where the player played the most and how they progressed.

eckmuhl
Member
eckmuhl
3 years 6 months ago

Of course you could do that. But why, really? There is a really simple way to get a full breakdown for each level of play if you want to see it. Click on the player’s name.

matt w
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matt w
3 years 6 months ago

Then you have to leave the current page every time you want to check.

scott
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scott
3 years 6 months ago

Totally agree, Will. The responses people have given in response to your request are silly. Websites should ALWAYS err on the side of making things easier for the reader, not more difficult. I’d personally like to see the player’s current level in parenthesis after his name so those who aren’t hardcore fans can get a sense of where these kids are without having to read each and every synopsis.

Pinstripe Wizard
Member
3 years 6 months ago

Since you stated in Jhang’s writeup that he and Mathisen are in a battle for catcher of the future, is that entirely because of Mathisen’s defense? Does Mathisen’s bat profile well enough to handle a move to a corner outfield position?

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
3 years 6 months ago

Yeah the “Pirates have a bad system” bias from 5-10 years ago is hard to shake. I’m not sure why they are consistently ranked in the #5-8 range. The one missing thing is what BA terms 55 grade players, the guys that provide quality (higher-ceiling) depth behind the top 6 or 7 guys. For example, Tampa has a ton of these guys. I think the Bucs have them too, but they are lower level and there is a gap at AA due to a college focus in 2008 and a poor 2009 draft showing.

I imagine guys like Willy Garcia, Jose Osuna, Vic Black, Adrian Sampson and Andy Oliver are some of the next 5 or 6 guys Marc identified.

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 6 months ago

What’s wrong with a 5-8 ranking? There are at least 3 organizations that are clearly ahead of the Pirates and a fourth that is just a shade behind those clubs (Cardinals, Mariners, Rays and Rangers). After that its close enough for the next 7 or so clubs that rankings make little difference.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
3 years 6 months ago

I’m not saying #5-8 is bad, just saying that there is a really good case for consistent top 5.

How are the Cardinals and Mariners clearly ahead?

Using BA grades (their top 6 systems ahead of Pittsburgh)
Cards – 1 70, 1 65, 0 60, 4 55, and 13 50 grades
Mariners – 1 70, 1 65, 2 60, 6 55, and 12 50 grades
Rangers – 1 75, 1 65, 3 60, 7 55, 15 50 grades
Rays – 1 70, 0 65, 2 60, 12 55, 14 50 grades
Marlins – 1 70, 1 65, 3 60, 3 55, 12 50 grades
Red Sox – 1 70, 0 65, 5 60, 5 55, 16 50 grades

Pirates – 1 70, 1 65, 4 60, 0 55, 16 50 grades

I get the Rangers, Rays, Red Sox argument based on depth, but I don’t buy SEA, MIA, STL ones as being clearly better.

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 6 months ago

The Cardinals have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. They are going to graduate a few players this year so they will more than likely drop back somewhere in the top 10 but with Taveras, Miller, and Martinez they have 3 ‘A’ guys and after that they have 8-10 guys that are usually qualified as ‘B’ level. So basically they have one of the best top end systems in the game (with a top 3 guy in Taveras), as well as one of the deepest. The Cardinals are the easy front runners for best farm system in baseball. The Mariners are very similar top end wise as the Cards with Zunino and Walker, but where they really shine is with the borderline A/B guys. Hultzen, Paxton, Franklin and Miller give them 6 players that are consistently found in top 100 lists.

So like I said, there are 4 teams clearly ahead of the rest of the league. If you want to make a case for the Pirates as the number 5, fine. But ranking teams from 5-10 is a crap shoot as they are just way too close to each other in terms of top end value and depth.

Look man, I live in the ‘burgh and am a huge Pirates fan, as I’m sure you are. The system is great, I’m happy with it, but you gotta be real about it too. It’s not the best system in baseball, and honestly you can’t really make a case that it is. Maybe hindsight shows us otherwise down the road, but as of right now, it’s not due to the lack of high end depth after the top 6-8 guys.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
3 years 6 months ago

Baseball America ranks the Cards higher based on proximity to the majors, which is fair, less risk involved. That said, even their own rankings show that the Cards have no more depth than the Pirates. A lot of the differences comes down to risk, Seattle’s guys are also closer to MLB.

Denying that reputation plays a big role in this kind of stuff is not accurate. Evaluators tend to view so called “good” systems more favorably than others. The Red Sox are always ranked highly due to track record in addition to talent. I just don’t like the Pirates system usually being mocked when it has been quite productive since the big philosophy/management change in 2008.

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 6 months ago

Who mocks the system? All the rankings that I’ve seen this off season have been pretty high and had great things to say about our guys.

Not really sure what reputation has to do with anything, maybe among the casual fan sure, but the pro’s get paid and get known for giving the most accurate scouting they can. Having a biased opinion is a surefire way to curtail your career.

Honestly, had the Pirates signed Appel, I’m sure they’d be right there with the Cards, but alas, they didn’t. The Pirates should only graduate Cole this season and have two first rounders coming in, so there’s a fair chance they’ll be in the top 3 next off season.

Corey
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Corey
3 years 6 months ago

PH: Really interesting list (and not sure why RW is completely ignoring it), but I’m wondering if the BA folks would’ve listed the breakdown differently. I’ve read many times that they view each category of risk as equivalent to 5 points (e.g. a 55/high is the same as a 50/medium or a 45/low).

You mention in a follow-up comment that some other orgs have lower-risk players, so maybe that would explain why the Pirates (22 50+ players, including 6 60+) could be ranked behind the Cardinals (only 19 50+ players and only 2 60+).

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 6 months ago

I ignored it because it doesn’t lend weight to his argument. How anyone can but the Cards/Mariners side by side with the Pirates system and say that either of those two are below the Pirates is beyond me. He said it himself, those clubs have less risk. I.E. more players further along in their development and closer to the majors than the Pirates do. Top to bottom the Pirates are no better than 5th AT THIS MOMENT. Is it close? Sure, it’s close, but it’s clear as well. If you want to make an argument, go ahead. But that’s all it really is, an argument.

Next off season, after 2 first round picks, a couple veteran off-loads and only one elite prospect graduating, people will be hard pressed to find a better farm system.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
3 years 6 months ago

RW, a lot of the negativity comes from the two major newspapers here in Pittsburgh. The one columnist used to be the Bucs beat writer and has a serious grudge these days. He is the guy who continues to keep the Hoka Hey thing in the press and likes to say that the system is no better today than it was under Dave Littlefield in 2007. He likes to say things like “my daughter could get a 1st overall pick right” to dismiss the high end talent than he ignores the depth (albeit young). On the other side is a veteran columnist who has no idea how to build a winner in current MLB economics. Then there is the BP writer who was fired by the team and like sto take his shots, like writing the BA team top 10 this year and spending the whole write up on Hoka Hey.

With that much negativity around those of us who follow things closely are pretty sensitive.

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 6 months ago

Been waiting all winter for this! I know Heredia is young, but what are your thoughts on his ceiling? I’ve seen some scouts say it rivals that of Cole and Taillon, but I’ve also seen others say it’s more that of a 3rd starter. Thoughts?

Marc Hulet
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Marc Hulet
3 years 6 months ago

If you click on the players’ names it will take you to their stats page with their level of play, etc. But it’s something we can talk about for next year, as there is a program that pulls all the info into list as you see it above. I don’t actually manually enter in the name and stats, so I would imagine it would be fairly easy to do.

Marc Hulet
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Marc Hulet
3 years 6 months ago

Heredia has a huge ceiling so it’s hard to pin a ceiling on him at this point but he has the potential to be a top of the rotation guy but I’d be a little cautious at this point.

Marc Hulet
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Marc Hulet
3 years 6 months ago

Osuna, Black and Sampson are all in the next group of five players.

Big Jgke
Member
Big Jgke
3 years 6 months ago

Is Taillon Canadian?

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
3 years 6 months ago

No Texas – Woodland HS

BondstheGOAT
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BondstheGOAT
3 years 6 months ago

He was either born in Canada or 1 of his parents is from there. He is playing for Canada in WBC

gorillakilla
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gorillakilla
3 years 6 months ago

His mother and father are Canadian. Jameson was born in Winter Haven, FL.

Trey Baughn
Member
Member
Trey Baughn
3 years 6 months ago

“…need to work on efficiently attacking MLB hitters…”. This is similar for both Cole and Taillon. Is this a concern in pitcher development specific to PIT, or is this a general comment about young, high upside pitchers? If general, what are the true differences between Cole and Taillon?

Leo Walter
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Leo Walter
3 years 6 months ago

Taillon’s parents are Canadien and that is how he is qaulified to play for Team Canada in thhe WBC.

Leo Walter
Guest
Leo Walter
3 years 6 months ago

Sorry for the mis-spelling : ” QUALIFIED “

Leo Walter
Guest
Leo Walter
3 years 6 months ago

Sorry for mis-spelling : ” Canadian “

Leo Walter
Guest
Leo Walter
3 years 6 months ago

Sorry for mis-spelling : “the”

jg941
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jg941
3 years 6 months ago

Marc – you have really done a phenomenal job on these prospects write-ups – fun to read every time out, great stuff. I’m a Pirates fan, so I probably should have sent you that comment earlier, but it was even more enjoyable to read your positive perspective on the Bucs system right now. You probably don’t like to get into the “list-beyond-the-list’, but it would also be interesting at least to know who your “bubble” prospects were for the Pirates, if you care to share their names.

Thanks again for the great work.

E-Dub
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E-Dub
3 years 6 months ago

Good list, Marc. Having seen a fair amount of Cole, I wouldn’t put the slider definitviely ahead of the change; both flash plus. The problem is that he rarely has both working equally well on the same day. When it is on, the change is very much the equal of the slider, breaking straight down with late, splitter action. It’s a truly nasty pitch, with swing-and-miss potential.

Penguin Owns You
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Penguin Owns You
3 years 6 months ago

Marc – really enjoyed the list. Hopefully Mathisen continues to develop.

aso513
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aso513
3 years 6 months ago

Everything I’ve seen/read about Glasnow is different from your report, he was at 94-96 late in the season and Keith Law said he’s touched 98.

Penguin Owns You
Guest
Penguin Owns You
3 years 6 months ago

I live for minor league updates from aso513.

Penguin Owns You

J_Eshleman
Guest
J_Eshleman
3 years 6 months ago

You are correct. I saw him touch 96 in his last NYPL game, sitting 93-94 mph over 4 innings.

Steve Z
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Reports had Glasnow reaching the high-90s late in the season. McPherson also got his fastball above 95 mph when pitching in the Majors late last season. He looks to be a solid #3 starter in the making. Glasnow, on the other hand, could turn into another top of the rotation pitcher.

Now, if the Pirates could acquire and develop a lefthanded starter on par with its better righthanded prospects!

An informative article, Marc. Keep up the good work!

mwash1983
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mwash1983
3 years 6 months ago

Luis Heredia was pushing 240 last year when I saw him in the NYPA. He looked like a RH C.C. Sabathia.

jay
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jay
3 years 6 months ago

Hanson or Luis Sardinas in the future???

joel
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

After reading this report I can see the long range plans of the Pirates FO. In 3 years the front of the rotation will be Cole, the Taillion stallion, and Heredia with McPerson and Locke waiting in the wings. There is 6-7 position players with a good upside. I hope 4-5 make it big time.

There is also a handful of other pitchers on there way up. I hope Neal Huntington is around to reap the awards. Of Pedro, Clutch, and Walker I think only Walker will still be on the team. Pedro is gonzo and Clutch not sure of. Who is his agent ???

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 6 months ago

In 3 years Cutch will still be a Pirate barring a trade. He signed a deal through 2017 with a club option in ’18. Of the players you mentioned I feel Locke and McPherson have the least chance of being Pirates in 3 years.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
3 years 6 months ago

KMac is terribly underrated (except by Steamer!). He was one of those college pitchers who was labeled low ceiling after some uninspiring debut numbers. He then missed some time with injuries further lowering his stock. When he returned in 2010 he added significant velocity and his K rate jumped up. The long path to success made him an older prospect which further hurt his valuation. When you look at what he is doing its tremendous, high K rate, excellent BB rates and he passes the sight test against MLB hitters. He is only 25 and I’m a big believer.

CabreraDeath
Member
CabreraDeath
3 years 6 months ago

Locke/McPherson (particularly McPherson) provide a lot of depth for a starting rotation that will have some serious turnover in the next year or so. Burnett/Wandy are not long-term guys obviously, while Cole looks to assume their spot at the top. I don’t see McPherson and/or Locke being dealt until some of the guys further away establish themselves, like Glasnow/Holmes/Heredia.

Great write-up, Mark.

Nick
Guest
Nick
3 years 4 months ago

Looks like Stetson Allie will go from not making the list to a top 5 in one year.

Roto Wizard
Member
Roto Wizard
3 years 28 days ago

I’d be surprised if he makes the top 15

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