With a wave of impact prospects poised to reach the major leagues as early as late 2014 and more high-ceiling talent developing in its lower levels, a strong case can be made that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system is the best in baseball.
Even after the graduation of Gerrit Cole to the major leagues last season, the Pirates still boast a deep collection of high-end pitching prospects. It shouldn’t be long until right-hander Jameson Taillon—the second overall pick in the 2010 draft after Bryce Harper—joins Cole in the big league rotation, and Nick Kingham isn’t far behind after a breakout 2013 campaign between High- and Double-A.
In the lower levels, 6'7" right-hander Tyler Glasnow absolutely dominated last year during his full-season debut, holding opposing hitters to an anemic .142 batting average while piling up a South Atlantic League-leading 164 strikeouts in 111.1 innings for Low-A West Virginia.
The system also stands out for its outfield depth, with top prospect Gregory Polanco on the verge of reaching the major leagues and taking over as the Pirates’ everyday right fielder. Beyond Polanco, switch-hitter Josh Bell’s potent bat suggests breakout potential and could result in a taste of Double-A late next season, while 2013 first-rounder Austin Meadows and fellow New York-Penn League standout Harold Ramirez will both make their full-season debuts at Low-A West Virginia.
Here’s a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top 10 prospects for the 2014 season.