By Jason Shetler
With the minor league regular season ending in a couple weeks, here’s a look at my Top 10 Pirates prospects as of right now.
10. Barrett Barnes: Injuries have been an issue for Barrett Barnes, but they hasn’t prevented him from putting up good numbers. The 24-year-old outfielder posted a .359 on base percentage along with a .782 OPS in 58 games for High A Bradenton. Barnes was promoted to AA Altoona in July where he’s put up a .371 on base with a .763 OPS in 16 games.
9. Cole Tucker: The Pirates made a surprising decision this past offseason when they announced that Cole Tucker would begin 2015 playing full season ball as opposed to short season ball. Tucker has held his own for the Low A West Virginia Power, hitting .293 with a .699 OPS and 25 stolen bases in 73 games played.
8. Nick Kingham: Entering 2015, Nick Kingham was rated the Pirates third best pitching prospect from most baseball publications. Kingham began this year with AAA Indianapolis, posting a 4.31 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9 in six starts before Tommy John surgery ended his season.
7. Harold Ramirez: Over the past couple of years, Harold Ramirez has quietly been one of the more productive hitters in the Pirates system. The native of Colombia has been a breakout performer this season for Bradenton, hitting .356 with a strong .913 OPS in 58 games.
6. Reese McGuire: Reese McGuire entered this season with the Bradenton Marauders. In 82 games played, McGuire is batting .268 along with a .627 OPS. Although the offensive numbers don’t look impressive, he’s playing at the High A level as a 20-year-old. McGuire is strong behind the plate, and is already one of the best defensive catchers in the minors right now.
5. Alen Hanson: Since 2013, Alen Hanson has been the Pirates top middle infield prospect in the organization. Hanson has played in 96 games this year for Indianapolis, hitting .271 with an OPS of .721. He also has 30 stolen bases, which are second most in the International League.
4. Jameson Taillon: Jameson Taillon came into this year fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. However, he dealt with a hernia injury during Extended Spring Training and wound up having surgery for that. Despite the injury setbacks, I don’t think it should affect his prospect status too much.
3. Austin Meadows: It’s been another productive season for Austin Meadows in 2015. The 9th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft has a .303 average with a .766 OPS in 102 games for Bradenton. Meadows is the Florida State League’s hits leader with 130.
2. Josh Bell: Josh Bell began the year with Altoona in his first season as a first baseman. He played in 96 games for the Curve where he hit .307 along with an .803 OPS. Bell was promoted to Indianapolis a couple weeks ago, posting a .752 OPS for the Indians.
1. Tyler Glasnow: It should come as absolutely no surprise that Tyler Glasnow is still the Pirates top prospect in the system. The flame throwing right-hander made 12 starts with Altoona, as he posted a 2.43 ERA, a WHIP of 0.95 and K/9 of 11.7. Glasnow got his promotion to Indianapolis in late July where he’s put up a 1.69 ERA.