Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (7) | 2012 (13) | 2011 (19) | 2010 (15) | 2009 (18)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [94-68] NL Central
AAA: [80-64] International League – Indianapolis
AA: [63-79] Eastern League – Altoona
A+: [57-77] Florida State League – Bradenton
A: [82-58] South Atlantic League – West Virginia
A(ss):  [43-52] New York-Penn League — Jamestown

Graduated Prospects
Gerrit Cole (RHP); Justin Wilson (LHP); Bryan Morris (RHP)

The Run Down
This Pittsburgh farm is a definite top tier system for fantasy, loaded with impact potential on both sides of the game.  After watching homegrown talents like Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole graduate into the big leagues over the past two seasons, we’re already accustomed to looking toward the Pirates for youthful fantasy help, and that trend should continue in 2014 as Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon appear ready for big league arrival.  Looking deeper, though, there’s impact talent at every level of this org, and even after Polanco and Taillon push through to the majors, prospects like Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows figure to fill those voids nicely.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Gregory Polanco, OF:  Polanco hit .285/.356/.434 with 12 HR and 38 SB through 127 games across three levels (A+, AA, AAA) in 2013.  He’s a top 10 overall fantasy prospect in my book, bringing impact potential in AVG, OBP, HR, and SB.  The 22-year-old is still filling out his 6-foot-4 frame, and as he matures in that regard, his in-game power should begin to take form.  He offered a glimpse of that potential in his first trip to the plate this spring:


#16 in my top 25 for 2014, Polanco is a potential 30/30 outfielder if everything clicks, and he’s set to surface in Pittsburgh at some point this summer.  ETA:  2014

2.  Jameson Taillon, RHP:  Taillon was unhittable at times in 2013, but thanks to some command troubles, his season as a whole was a bit inconsistent, and his year-end line read: 3.73/1.32/143 in 147 IP between Double-A and Triple-A.  Don’t let the ratios discourage you, though, the 22-year-old is still one of the most promising arms in the minors.  With plus raw stuff and a 6-foot-6 frame, Taillon projects as a true front-end starter.  He came in two spots behind Polanco in my top 25 for 2014, and here’s what I had to say:  “Taillon’s path to the majors will very much resemble that of his teammate, Gerrit Cole’s.  His fantasy impact seems likely to resemble Cole’s, too.  Grey has his Jameson Taillon outlook here, and is slotting him at #97 in his SP ranks.”  ETA:  2014

3.  Tyler Glasnow, RHP:  Glasnow’s fastball-curve combo is an advanced weapon and it helped him to a ridiculous 13.3 whiffs per-nine through 24 Low-A starts in 2013.  The rest of his line wasn’t too shabby either:  2.18 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.  There’s front-end upside here, but Glasnow still has much to prove in the minors.  He’ll begin 2014 at High-A, and if all goes well, he’ll be ready for a look in the upper levels by mid-season.  ETA:  2016

4.  Alen Hanson, SS:  Hanson hit .274/.329/.427 with 48 XBH (8 HR) and 30 SB through 559 PA between High-A and Double-A in 2013.  He’s a stick-first middle infielder and most scouts have him pegged as a second baseman at the highest level.  15/30 upside with good average makes Hanson valuable dynasty league piece.  He’ll get started at Double-A in 2014, and he could be ready for a look in the bigs by year’s end.  ETA:  Late 2014

5.  Austin Meadows, OF:  Drafted 9th overall last June, Meadows offers across-the-board impact potential for the fantasy game.  The 18-year-old posted an OPS at .977 during his 48-game pro debut, but, as we know, it’s probably unwise to make too much of short-season numbers.  Meadows will play full-season ball in 2014, and he’s a candidate to break out as a top 25 prospect and jump to the top of this Pittsburgh list next year.  ETA:  2017

6.  Josh Bell, OF:  After losing nearly all of 2012 to injury, Bell returned to West Virginia in 2013 and posted a line at .279/.353/.403 with 52 XBH (13 HR) in 519 PA.  The 21-year-old will step up to High-A Bradenton this spring, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him reach Double-A by mid-season.  He’s yet another Pirates outfielder with impact potential for the fantasy game — power and average are Bell’s best attributes.  ETA:  2016

7.  Nick Kingham, RHP:  Kingham seems kinda boring when you consider him among young starters like Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Tyler Glasnow, but he’s a fine prospect in his own right and he’d be a top 5 guy in most other farms.  Standing 6-5, 220, and brining three above-average offerings (FB, CB, CH) the 22-year-old projects as an innings-eater with good K production, but there’s potential for more.  He’ll get his 2014 started at Triple-A this spring, in line for arrival in Pittsburgh before year’s end.  ETA:  Late 2014

8.  Harold Ramirez, OF:  The 19-year-old Venezuelan has drawn superb reviews from evaluators during his brief professional career, showing plus potential in the speed and power departments.  Ramirez will play full-season baseball in 2014, and he’ll be an exciting prospect to keep track of.  ETA:  2017

9.  Barret Barnes, OF:  This marks the 5th outfielder on this list, and that’s to say nothing of big leaguers like Andre McCutchen and Starling Marte.  The Pirates have a surplus of outfield talent and Barnes is part of it.  The 22-year-old will bring an attractive power-speed combo to the High-A level this spring.  He’ll be looking to stay on the field for the entire season after a hamstring injury cut his 2013 short.  ETA:  2016

10.  Reese McGuire, C:  As a glove-first catcher, McGuire is an excellent real life prospect, but his fantasy stock isn’t quite so promising.  The 18-year-old was the 14th overall pick last June and he’s in line to debut at the full-season level this spring.  Looking long-term, McGuire has potential to offer fantasy relevance as an everyday catcher with decent average and modest pop.  For now, he’s not a guy to be reaching for in dynasty formats.  ETA:  2017

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates MiLB Preview