Do not sleep on the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014 or for the next couple of years because the Bucs’ program is stacked. The Pirates’ farm system was recently rated the best in baseball by Baseball America. The publication’s prospect handbook is expected to be released next month, which will give you an insight on all of the top prospects throughout baseball.
Pittsburgh’s system features five-tool outfielder Gregory Polanco and big-time arms Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow. Behind them are Nick Kingham and Luis Heredia with Alen Hanson, Josh Bell and Harold Ramirez ready to roam PNC Park in the next few years. Polanco is the prospect the organization is highest on and the pitching combination of Taillon and Glasnow is something the Pirates have looked forward to for years.
Polanco is surely going to be high on Baseball America’s top prospects list as well as MLB.com’s prospects list prior to the beginning of the 2014 season. He can play each outfield position, but is currently blocked by Jose Tabata, Starling Marte and National League MVP Andrew McCutchen. In the minors between Bradenton, Altoona and Indianapolis last year, the 22-year-old batted .285/.356/.434 with 12 home runs, 71 RBIs, 30 doubles and 36 stolen bases. He is the future for the Pirates’ outfield.
As for Taillon, he was 5-10 in the minors with a 3.73 ERA after moving up a class from 2012 where he spent most of it in Bradenton. Taillon does still have some work to do, but this season could be his biggest yet. His partner Glasnow spent 2013 in the South Atlantic League with West Virgina. He was a dominant 9-3 with a 2.18 ERA with a 13.3 K/9.
You can definitely say that the Pirates’ rotation is set for the next couple years down the line and the excitement that these players are going to bring is almost overwhelming.