We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.
1) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Grade A/A-: Age 23, fifth round pick in 2011 from high school in California; remains unhittable in Triple-A (1.49 ERA in 36 innings, 55/15 K/BB) but can’t find consistency in the majors (7.45 ERA in 54 inning, 50/29 K/BB, 75 hits); numbers are undoubtedly ugly for Pittsburgh but I still believe in his potential and am loathe to give up on him.
2) Austin Meadows, OF, Grade B+/A-: Age 22, first round pick in 2013; hitting .248/.313/.358 in Triple-A before going down with hamstring injury; defense remains best attribute; shows good pop and speed to go with it when he’s healthy but has trouble staying healthy.
3) Mitch Keller, RHP, Grade B+/A-: Age 21, second round pick in 2014 from high school in Iowa; 3.70 ERA in 58 innings in High-A, 50/18 K/BB, 45 hits; scouting reports from April and May were glowing but he’s been less impressive since missing most of June with a back injury; remains a top prospect.
4) Josh Bell, 1B-OF, Grade B+: Age 24, second round pick in 2011 from high school in Texas; hitting .241/.322/.472 with 17 homers, 38 walks, 69 strikeouts in 320 major league at-bats; solid rookie campaign and he can improve further from here.
5) Kevin Newman, SS, Grade B: Age 23, first round pick in 2015 from University of Arizona; hitting .262/.313/.362 in 340 at-bats in Double-A, 22 walks, 40 strikeouts; playing very well defensively; the Grade B was a notch too high but I remain optimistic about him long-term.
6) Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Grade B/B-: Age 20, first round pick in 2015 from high school in Texas, son of former MLBer Charlie Hayes; hitting .276/.356/.348 with 23 steals, 32 walks, 51 strikeouts in 279 at-bats in High-A; young for the level; no power yet but controls zone well, effective runner, outstanding glove at third base; still like him too.
7) Taylor Hearn, LHP, Grade B-: Age 22, drafted by Nationals in fifth round in 2015 from Oklahoma Baptist; acquired in July 2016 Mark Melancon trade; 4.12 ERA in 87 innings in High-A with 106/37 K/BB, just 65 hits; went on the disabled list last week with a strained oblique; generating good buzz with improved slider to go with 94-99 heat.
8) Nick Kingham, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 25, fourth round pick in 2010; had Tommy John surgery in 2015, still hasn’t quite gotten back to old standards, 5.16 ERA in 59 innings, 58/22 K/BB, 66 hits; I wouldn’t give up on him at all.
9) Steven Brault, LHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 25, 11th round pick by Orioles in 2013 from Regis University in Colorado; acquired in 2015 trade; pitching excellently in Triple-A with 2.06 ERA in 100 innings, 95/36 K/BB, 77 hits; just needs an opportunity.
10) Cole Tucker, SS, Grade B-/C+: Age 21, first round pick in 2014 from high school in Arizona; nice year in High-A, .285/.364/.426 in 277 at-bats, 34 walks, 70 strikeouts, 36 steals; solid glove with speed, OBP, increasing power; don’t overlook him.
11) Will Craig, 3B, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, first round pick in 2016 from Wake Forest; .284/.388/.404, 44 walks, 78 strikeouts in 327 at-bats in High-A; more homers would be nice but he does have 20 doubles; playing well defensively at first base.
12) Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 24, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013 at age 20; not having a good year in Double-A, 5.98 ERA in 53 innings, 46/35 K/BB; missed a month with an oblique strain; still working on off-speed stuff to go with upper-90s fastball.
13) Travis MacGregor, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 19, second round pick in 2016 from high school in Florida; projectable but rather raw type, pitching in rookie ball in Appalachian League, 4.43 ERA in 22 innings, 15/11 K/BB.
14) Alen Hanson, INF-OF, Grade C+: Age 24, claimed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox in June; hitting combined .218/.271/.300 in 110 at-bats between the two teams; looks like a role player at best now.
15) Max Moroff, INF, Grade C+: Age 24, .269/.385/.569 in Triple-A, hitting just .132/.230/.208 in 53 major league at-bats; I don’t think he’ll ever hit for high average but he’s not a .132 hitter either and has pop to go with a versatile glove.
16) Elias Diaz, C, Grade C+: Age 26, Venezuelan catcher, hitting .266/.306/.380 in 79 major league at-bats; should have long career as a reserve.
17) Luis Escobar, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, signed out of Colombia in 2013; 4.19 ERA in 86 innings in Low-A with 109/38 K/BB, 70 hits; needs better command but K/IP and low hit rate aren’t lying about the potential of his fastball/curveball combo.
18) Trevor Williams, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, second round pick from Arizona State by Marlins in 2013, traded to Pirates in October 2015; holding down rotation spot with 4.69 ERA in 81 innings, 59/22 K/BB; capable of better.
19) Frank Duncan, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, 13th round pick in 2014 from University of Kansas; traded to Arizona Diamondbacks after this list was written; getting killed in Triple-A with 6.23 ERA in 100 innings, 59/30 K/BB, 135 hits; would be better in the bullpen.
20) Barrett Barnes, OF, Grade C+: Age 25, compensation round pick in 2012 from Texas Tech; back to his old ways of constant injuries, has missed most of year with hamstring injury; hitting .247/.352/.342 in 73 at-bats in Triple-A.
OTHER GRADE C+
Gage Hinsz, RHP: 5.56 ERA in 81 innings in High-A, 46/27 K/BB.
Clay Holmes, RHP: Solid year in Triple-A, 3.58 ERA in 78 innings, 75/38 K/BB.
Kevin Kramer, 2B: Hot start in Double-A, .297/.380/.500 in 202 at-bats; now on DL with broken hand.
Jared Lakind, LHP: 6.81 ERA in 36 Double-A innings; released earlier this month and signed with Marlins as free agent.
Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP: 3.18 ERA in 40 innings in Triple-A, 37/14 K/BB; can be solid relief option.
Braeden Ogle, LHP: Just getting started in rookie ball; 3.60 ERA in 25 innings, 17/12 K/BB.
Jose Osuna, 1B-OF: In the majors, hitting .247/.290/.459 in 146 at-bats.
Miguel Rosario, RHP: 1.27 ERA in 43 innings in Double-A, 40/28 K/BB.
Edgar Santana, RHP: 2.06 ERA in 39 innings in Triple-A, 38/9 K/BB, another relief option.
Feel free to ask about any other players as well as 2017 draftees in the comments section.