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Pittsburgh Pirates: Update Of Top 5 Prospects In May

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Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects Report

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As we reach the end of May, the Pittsburgh Pirates are just a couple of games behind the front-running St. Louis Cardinals. Pirates fans have visions of a playoff berth dancing in their heads and they are not totally out of line, but they have also been down that road the last two seasons. In order for the end of this season to be different than the last two years, the Pirates will need some help from those not on the roster currently.

The Bucs will probably be busy at the trade deadline, most likely trying to acquire a relief arm or two to help out a bullpen that has already pitched a ton of innings. Maybe a bat to upgrade the bench depth could be sought after as well from a team that has already given up on the 2013 season. The team could also turn to some of their biggest prospects to see if they can contribute down the stretch. There have been several young players over the years that have come up and played a crucial role for teams in contention, like David Price with the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.

Here is a look at how the top-ranked prospects in the Pirates system have done so far this season. I will also look at the likelihood that these guys will contribute to the big club in 2013. The prospects chosen were the top-ranked prospects at the beginning of the season. Are any of them the 2013 version of David Price?

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5. Luis Heredia

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The big right-hander has been getting some work in at the club's extended spring training. He will be playing in Class A short season in the New York/Penn League, and is still a few years from the big leagues.

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4. Alen Hanson

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Hanson is at Class A-Bradenton and is playing okay. He is batting .289 with just one home run in 211 at-bats. He needs to improve his stolen base percentage, having been successful only 11 times in 19 attempts. Hanson won't be playing with the big club in 2013.

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3. Gregory Polanco

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Polanco is also in Bradentonm and the outfielder is playing well. He is batting .307 with six home runs and 27 runs batted in. He will probably top out at Double-A ball this season.

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2. Jameson Taillon

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Taillon is currently at Double-A Altoona and has pitched well, although he has a losing record of 3-5. His earned run average is 3.26 and he is averaging just over a strikeout per inning pitched. He has an outside shot of getting the call up to the big club.

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1. Gerrit Cole

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Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Cole is playing at Triple-A Indianapolis and has a record of 3-3. He has had a bit of a problem finding the strike zone, walking 26 batters in 54 innings. If he doesn't find his control, he won't be called up because wildness doesn't play well in the majors.