By Jason Shetler
A lot has been made of the Pirates improved farm system over the last few years. The 2016 season is certainly shaping up to be a huge year for the Bucs in terms of their prospects. Furthermore, most of them are Top 10 prospects in the organization. Here are the prospects the Pirates should see at some point next season.
Alen Hanson: The Pirates top infield prospect is having a decent season for AAA Indianapolis. With the Pirates logjam of infielders this year, Hanson should see his time in Pittsburgh next season. Even if Hanson isn’t called up as a starter, he can still serve the Bucs as an offensive minded utility infielder.
Jameson Taillon: It’s been a difficult road for Jameson Taillon recently. First having to overcome Tommy John surgery, and now trying to recover from surgery to his hernia. Taillon is likely to be ready by the beginning of next season, and hopefully can avoid the injury bug to finally help out the Pirates rotation.
Josh Bell: The most looked at Pirates position player prospect call up next season will be Josh Bell. The switch-hitting Bell is regarded as the Pirates first baseman of the future. With the uncertainty of Pedro Alvarez beyond this season, and Michael Morse under contract through next year, the plan could be to have Morse at first base as a stopgap until Bell arrives in the summer.
Nick Kingham: It was a tough break this year for Nick Kingham, as he underwent Tommy John surgery in May. Had it not been for the injury, he would probably be in the Pirates rotation right now. Kingham should be pitching again midseason next year, and at the very least would be a September call up.
Steven Brault: Acquired as the player to be named in the Travis Snider deal last offseason from the Baltimore Orioles, Steven Brault began the year pitching for the Bradenton Marauders. He was promoted midseason to the Altoona Curve where he’s pitched even better. Brault is likely to begin 2016 with the Indianapolis Indians. The Pirates could then decide whether to call him up for the rotation or as a lefty arm in the bullpen.
Tyler Glasnow: As exciting as the Pirates call up of Gerrit Cole was in 2013, the promotion of Tyler Glasnow in 2016 could be just as highly anticipated. The Pirates #1 prospect has completely dominated every level he’s passed through since being drafted by the Bucs in 2011. Glasnow’s call up to Pittsburgh next season alone will carry a ton of excitement.